Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has vowed to continue fighting to ensure that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is repealed.
Sangma said that AFSPA has not been able to resolve the issue of insurgency in the Northeast.
Sangma, who is the president of the National People’s Party (NPP), said this in Imphal on Friday.
He was in Manipur to speak at a Youth Conclave organized by the National People’s Youth Front (NPYF) at Patsoi on the theme ‘Our future in our hands’.
“We’ve got to realize that by using force, we cannot achieve our goal. We need to look into security aspects also. But, AFSPA is not the solution to the problem,” Sangma said.
“It is only through socio-economic measures, that we’ll be able to find the ultimate solution. By using the Armed Forces, we’re once again damaging our youth,” he said.
“Therefore in this conference, we need to realize that this kind of politics, these kinds of laws make things worse,” Sangma added.
The AFSPA which gives power to the Indian Army and Central forces deployed in “disturbed areas”’, is in force in Nagaland, Assam, Manipur (excluding seven assembly constituencies in Imphal) and parts of Arunachal Pradesh.
It was withdrawn from Meghalaya in 2018.
Manipur deputy chief minister Yumnam Joykumar, former minister L Jayantakumar, NPP Manipur unit president N Kayisii, president of the Arunachal chapter of the NPP Mutchu Mithi were also present during the day-long Youth Conclave.
The NPP, which has four legislators in the 60 member Manipur assembly, is a key ally of the BJP-led government in the border state.