"Need To Wait" Before Repealing AFSPA, Says Manipur Chief Minister

N Biren Singh said insurgency-related violence has decreased in the state during the last three years and he has appraised the Union Home Ministry of the improved situation.

'Need To Wait' Before Repealing AFSPA, Says Manipur Chief Minister

"The law and order has definitely improved unlike in the past," said N Biren Singh (File)

Imphal:

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has said the law and order situation in the state has improved in recent years, but it is still not conducive to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

Mr Singh said insurgency-related violence has decreased in the state during the last three years and he has appraised the Union Home Ministry of the improved situation.

"The law and order has definitely improved unlike in the past. However, we need to wait for a better situation so that the AFSPA can be repealed from the state," Mr Singh told reporters on Tuesday.

Official sources said a total of 233 insurgency-linked incidents had been reported in 2016, which came down to 167 in 2017 and 127 in 2018.

In November 2018, the chief minister had said the time had come to review the AFSPA but since the state shares border with foreign countries, the security aspect has to be considered.

The Act allows army personnel to use force, "even to the causing of death", in order to maintain public order, and also grants them executive powers to enter and search any premises and arrest without any warrant.

It was imposed in Manipur in 1980 when the state was a hotbed of insurgency. It was later withdrawn from seven Assembly segments within the Imphal Municipality Area following intense agitation demanding its removal from the entire state.

Social activist Irom Chanu Sharmila has been on fast for more than 13 years demanding repeal of the Act after the killing of 10 civilians by Assam Rifles near Imphal airport on November 2, 2000.

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