Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday said the people of his state and he himself wanted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA to be scrapped from the Northeastern state.  

He, however, said that it should be done with the consent of the Centre.

 “We are a border state and share an international border with Myanmar. I have to see the national interest as well,” Chief Minister Singh said  

Clamour for scrapping the AFSPA from the Northeast got louder following the killing of 16 civilians at Oting in Nagaland’s Mon district.     

 “The people of Manipur, including me, want that AFSPA should be lifted, but after a mutual understanding with the central government as national security is the first priority for us,” Singh told a news agency.

He said that it is not possible to do so without assessing the ground situation.

 “I believe AFSPA can be lifted gradually with the consent of the central government. We must remember there is no political stability in Myanmar and we share the border with that nation,” Biren Singh said.

The two-phase Assembly elections in Manipur will be held in two phases on February 27 and March 3.

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