Information is being collected about the number of cases of human rights violations by the security forces reported from the areas where AFSPA is being enforced, said Union Minister of Home Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday.
Union Minister Rijiju said this in reply to an un-starred question raised by Arunachal East MP Ninong Ering on Tuesday in the Lok Sabha on the enforcement of the the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act [AFSPA] in the Northeast.
Rijiju also said during “each of the last three years and the current year, crime-wise and State-wise and the number of cases disposed of, pending and the number of victims given compensation during this period will be laid on the table of the House”.
Ering, who was also a former Union Minister, sought to know the areas where AFSPA was in force, the number of cases of human rights violations – crime-wise and state-wise – by the security forces reported from these areas over the last three years, and the number of cases disposed of, pending or in which the victims have been provided compensation.
The MP further asked about the details of the organisations which have requested or recommended repeal of AFSPA and the measures taken by the Central Government to check the human rights violations in the said regions of the country.
Replying to Ering’s question, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said AFSPA is operational in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (except Imphal Municipal area) and J&K (except Kargil and Leh districts); Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of the eight police stations in the districts of the Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Assam.
“Representations have been received from time to time from different organisations/NGOs from Nagaland and Manipur for withdrawal and from the State Government of J&K for phased withdrawal of AFSPA and for preventing human rights violations under the AFSPA, guidelines containing ‘Do’s and don’ts’ have been issued for the armed forces deployed in counter-insurgency operation area as per the direction of the Supreme Court in Naga People’s Movement of Human Rights versus Union of India,” Union Minister Rijiju had said.
Union Minister Rijiju further said that violation of these guidelines by members of the armed forces makes them liable for prosecution under the Army Act and the respective Acts of the Central Armed Police Forces. The human rights cells established at various levels of the armed forces regularly monitor alleged human rights violations by their members.
“The troops are sensitised at regular intervals regarding the importance of upholding human rights. The institutional mechanisms are in place at different levels to deal with cases of human rights violation by the members of armed forces,” Rijiju had said.