The Central Government’s order to put special power in the hands of the Assam Rifles came under heavy condemnation, particularly from the student bodies.
An emergency meeting was called by the apex student body of Mizoram, Mizo Zirlai Pawl on the matter where they said they will protest against the order at all costs.
For a long time, the North East Students Organisation (NESO) where MZP is a member had been requesting the government to repeal The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. “Not only did they ignore the request, they gave the Assam Rifles freedom to arrest without warrant in the five Northeast states which really disappoints us,” said Ramdinliana Renthlei, MZP President.
“The Act was enforced in the state of Mizoram when the state was fighting for Independence. We want the Indian government to know that the special power given to the Indian army at that time led to houses being burned, civilians getting arrested, crops destroyed and rape of women. The victims of the time are still in agony today.”
“It seems like the government is not done with tormenting our lives and want to continue with it,” he added.
The student body released a statement strongly condemning the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act saying, “This Act is not supported by the Human Rights organizations and has been termed as a ‘draconian law’ and ‘license to kill.”
Lalrokhuma, MZP Adviser also spoke strongly against the act, saying, “MZP and NESO strongly oppose this Armed Forces Special Power Act which was imposed in the Northeast. Many times we sent representatives and memorandum to the Central government to repeal this draconian act. We urge the Mizoram government to strongly oppose this Act.”
The MZP adviser raised some questions for the Central Government saying, “Why didn’t they impose it in West Bengal, Bihar or Central India? Why only impose this draconian rule in Northeast states and J&K. Does the central government look after their states equally?”
The Mizo Zirlai Pawl plans to write a letter to the Prime Minister as well as the Ministry of Home Affairs on the matter. Though the centre has put its decision allowing Assam Rifles to arrest without warrant on hold, the student body said they will demand the Central Government to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.