AFSPA Counter-Productive, Led To More Unrest: Meghalaya's Conrad Sangma

This comes on the backdrop of the botched anti-insurgency operation and subsequent retaliatory firing in Nagaland left 14 civilians and one Army personnel dead.

AFSPA Counter-Productive, Led To More Unrest: Meghalaya's Conrad Sangma

"We have decided to urge Centre once again to repeal AFSPA," Conrad Sangma said (File)

New Delhi:

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is counter-productive and has caused "more unrest", Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad - whose party National People's Party is a member of the National Democratic Alliance - said today.

"We have decided to urge Centre once again to repeal this draconian Act," Mr Sangma told NDTV.

This comes on the backdrop of the botched anti-insurgency operation and subsequent retaliatory firing in Nagaland left 14 civilians and one Army personnel dead.

"The stand that we have taken on AFSPA has been there for a long time - right from my father PA Sangma's time," Conrad Sangma said.

"The larger point here is the issues we face in Northeast. The Centre has a stand to go with AFSPA. But we have seen putting that stand forward has not given any good results, and in the last many years that ASFPA has been there, it has been counter-productive. There has been more unrest. A lot of precious lives have been lost. We don't believe AFSPA will help. We will continue to oppose it," Mr Sangma added.

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, or AFSPA, has been in force in Nagaland and parts of the northeast for several decades. Under this legislation, security forces can conduct operations anywhere in the state where the law is in effect and arrest anyone without any prior warrant.

In June, the Home Ministry had once again declared the whole of Nagaland a "disturbed area" for six months, which allows the centre to extend AFSPA for that period.

This morning opposition MPs urged the government not to invoke this law to protect those guilty. Home Minister Amit Shah made a brief statement in the Lok Sabha.

14 villagers and a soldier died in Nagaland's Mon district over the weekend after an Army op went horribly wrong. A police FIR has said the Army's 21 Para Special Forces "blankly opened fire". The Army has expressed deep regret for the "unfortunate loss of lives" and said the matter would be investigated at the "highest level".

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