Tripura shuns controversial AFSPA

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Agartala: The controversial AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers) act was lifted by the Tripura government from the state with immediate effect, announced chief minister Manik Sarkar on Wednesday.

The Act has been in force in the one militancy-ravaged state since 1997. “Insurgency activities in the state are now reduced almost at zero. The demand for withdrawing the AFSPA has been persuaded at various levels, but we could not take a decision because the security forces did not clear it,” Sarkar stated.

The Act was promulgated in the state in February 16, 1997 due to relentless violence and bloodshed. As per the provisions of the Act, it was reviewed and extended in every six months since then. The last six-month extension was in November last year and it’s term ends this month-end.

Sarkar said that initially, AFSPA was promulgated across two-third of the total police station areas but gradually the coverage of the Act was reduced with the improving situation. At present AFSPA was in fully operational in 26 police stations areas and partially in four police station areas out of 74 police stations and 36 out posts of Tripura.

“There is a qualitative change in the law and order situation and the development of the state is in take off stage. Peace loving people don’t want violence rather insisted the government for development at par with rest of the country. So we also reviewed it found AFSPA need not to be extended anymore,” he said.

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