The central government has decided to reduce the “disturbed areas” under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur. 

The development was informed by union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday. 

“In a significant step, GoI under the decisive leadership of PM Shri @NarendraModi Ji has decided to reduce disturbed areas under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades,” Amit Shah tweeted. 

Amit Shah further informed that reduction in “disturbed areas” under AFSPA is a result of improved security situation. 

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“Reduction in areas under AFSPA is a result of the improved security situation and fast-tracked development due to the consistent efforts and several agreements to end insurgency and bring lasting peace in North East by PM @narendramodi government,” Amit Shah added. 

He added: “Our North-Eastern region, which was neglected for decades is now witnessing a new era of peace, prosperity and unprecedented development. I congratulate the people of North East on this momentous occasion.” 

Meanwhile, former Assam chief minister and union minister Sarbananda Sonowal has welcomed the decision of the Centre. 

“A very welcome decision. The leadership of PM Narendra Modi has brought a new era of peace, progress and security to the Northeast. Reduction in areas under AFSPA will further create a conducive environment for fast-paced growth in the region,” Sarbananda Sonowal said. 

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Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio tweeted: “Grateful to GoI under the leadership of @PMOIndia Shri @narendramodi ji & @AmitShah ji for reducing disturbed areas under AFSPA in the states of Nagaland, Assam & Manipur. This is a significant development towards bringing stability, security & prosperity to the North East region.”

Manipur CM Biren Singh tweeted: “This historic decision is a result of the robust development and improved security situation under various initiatives taken up by Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi Ji in the North East. This decision will lead to a new era of peace, prosperity and development in Manipur yet again.” 

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted: “I wholeheartedly welcome Adarniya PM Shri @narendramodi ji’s decision to withdraw AFSPA from all areas of Assam barring 9 dists & 1 subdivn. Also convey my gratitude to HM Shri @AmitShah ji for this great move. Around 60% of State’s area will now be free from AFSPA’s purview.” 

He added: “AFSPA has been in force since 1990 & this move marks the beginning of a new chapter in Assam’s future. It is a testimony to the significant improvement in law & order in the State. With peace getting primacy, North East is now on a new trajectory of growth & development.” 

Mizoram CM Zoramthanga tweeted: “A very bold yet wise decision from a Government who truly cares about the developmental welfare of its own people. May this humane virtue of #Peace be a torchbearing usher for countless prosperity to the North-Eastern Region.” 

AFSPA allows armed forces to control and maintain public order in areas designated as ‘disturbed’. 

Section 4 of AFSPA gives special powers to armed forces, authorising its personnel to open fire, arrest people without warrants, enter and search without warrant, having immunity from prosecution. 

Section 6 grants immunity to the security personnel from prosecution, suit or other legal proceedings. 

There has been a clarion call in the Northeast demanding repeal of the controversial AFSPA in the region, following the killing of 14 innocent civilians in Mon district of Nagaland by security forces in a botched counter-insurgency operation. 

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