Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma has said that the panel which has been constituted to examine the possibilities of withdrawing the ‘draconian’ AFSPA in Nagaland, should also examine the entire Northeast. 

“The panel should examine the whole of Northeast,” said Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma. 

The Meghalaya chief minister has welcomed the formation of the committee to examine possibilities of withdrawing AFSPA in Nagaland. 

“(I) welcome the move of the government of India for approving setting up of a panel to review imposition of the AFSPA in Nagaland,” said Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma. 

Also read: Nagaland killings: Inquiry progressing ‘expeditiously’, says Army

Conrad Sangma has been raising voice for repealing of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) ever since the December 4 botched counter-insurgency operation by security forces in Nagaland’s Mon district that claimed the lives of 13 innocent civilians. 

“I have always maintained that AFSPA is counter-productive and doesn’t serve the purpose it is meant to. AFSPA should be repealed,” Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma had said on December 6. 

Notably, the Centre has paved the way for constituting a high-level committee to study the possibilities of withdrawing AFSPA from Nagaland.  

“The five-member committee will be headed by additional secretary (Northeast), MHA and will comprise of Nagaland chief secretary, DGP, IGR North and representative from CRPF,” NPF leader TR Zeliang had informed Northeast Now on Sunday. 

Also read: Repeal AFSPA demand: Emergency meet held at Nagaland CM’s residence

The committee has been served with a 45-day timeframe to submit a report of its findings on the possibilities of withdrawing AFSPA from Nagaland. 

Meanwhile, according to reports, the union home ministry is likely to explore the possibility of partially lifting the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Nagaland and some other Northeast states.  

Although most of the leaders in the Northeast are unanimous in voicing demand for repeal of AFSPA, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma has favoured continuation of the ‘draconian’ Act his state.  

Shah reportedly told Rio and the others that if the AFSPA were to be lifted even partially, the modalities would have to be worked out and the state police would have to shoulder more responsibilities in maintaining law and order.  

Also read: Replace Assam Rifles unit in Mon: Nagaland government asks Centre

The Centre will have to take a call before December 31 when the notification of the disturbed area, which enables AFSPA, will expire in Nagaland. 

Demand for repeal of the ‘draconian’ AFSPA has been growing louder ever since killing of 13 innocent civilians by security forces in a botched counter-insurgency operation in Nagaland’s Mon district on December 4. 

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