The Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia on Friday strongly opposed the Central government’s bestowing special powers on Assam Rifles.
The Centre had issued a notification bestowing Assam Rifles with the power to arrest people and search premises without any warrant in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday.
Saikia said that this act was a manifestation of undeclared emergency, especially in the northeast.
The Leader of the Opposition said that the notification negates the right to freedom of movement guaranteed to citizens by the Constitution of India and hence poses a threat to democracy.
He mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, in the course of his Independence Day speech of 2018, promised to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the relevant states of the North-east.
Earlier too, during a pre-election rally in Imphal, Modi had promised to withdraw the controversial AFSPA if the BJP formed the government at the Centre.
Saikia said that the Prime Minister has exposed his own duplicity by resorting to the undemocratic tactic of giving arbitrary powers to the Assam Rifles in the context of the North-east, instead of keeping his word regarding the AFSPA.
Mentioning that the BJP frequently talks about peace reigning in the Northeast, Saikia questioned the need to arm the Assam Rifles with additional powers and said that there is cope to doubt the motive behind the notification.
The Leader of the Opposition pointed out that the Assam Rifles had a dodgy record in upholding human rights.
He further said that there is a strong possibility of this new step hampering integration of the North-east with the Indian mainstream.
It may be mentioned that the Congress Legislature Party moved an Adjournment Proposal in the Assam Assembly Legislative Assembly today over this issue and resorted to a walk-out when the Speaker disallowed it on procedural grounds.