FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
Itagar, April 10: Aruchal Pradesh Chief Minister bam Tuki on Thursday urged the Centre to urgently review the decision of extending the Armed Forces Special Powers’ Act (AFSPA) to all the districts of Aruchal Pradesh bordering Assam.
The Chief Minister called on Union Home Minister Rajth Singh at New Delhi and expressed his concerns at the Centre’s decision to extend AFSPA to the peaceful districts of the state. While terming this decision as unilateral, he pointed that it was not taken in consultation with the state government, official sources said here today.
Tuki highlighted that Aruchal Pradesh has been the most peaceful state in the NE Region with no history of home grown insurgency. He asserted that the three districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding are insurgency infected as ultras from other neighboring states and Myanmar operate in these areas.
AFSPA has been in force in these three districts since 1991 after they were categorized as disturbed area by Ministry of Home Affairs. It was subsequently extended to a 20 km belt in districts bordering Assam.
Against this historical backdrop of AFSPA in Aruchal Pradesh, the chief minister categorically denied the need for extending the ambit of AFSPA to border districts of the State in entirety as notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs recently.
Singh assured Tuki to examine and review this decision of extending AFSPA in the state.
Lok Sabha MP from Aruchal Pradesh Ninong Ering pleaded Prime Minister rendra Modi to revoke the imposition of Armed Forces Special (Power) Act (AFSPA), saying the measure would affect 13 lakh people of the state.
The Centre on March 27 last extended the controversial Act to 12 districts of Aruchal Pradesh that border Assam.
In a letter to Modi on Thursday, the Congress MP from Aruchal East constituency want to know the circumstances for which the draconian law was imposed in a state which was called ‘the island of peace’.
The letter, a copy of which was made available to the Press further said that tourism and development would receive a severe set-back as this was the only source for the people of the region.
“I have never expected a man of your caliber who, uses to call the people of Aruchal Pradesh true Indians and who have the tiolistic feelings and always greet people with “Jai Hind” and believe themselves as true Indians, will be imposed with such Act,” Ering said in the letter.
“The insurgent groups if at all in state have no identity of its own. No insurgent outfit exists here origilly. Those who are operating in Tirap and Changlang districts are of other states and Aruchal has no outfits of origin,” he pointed out.
“Is it because your party had called as immigrants in the last Delhi Assembly election that you treating the people of Aruchal Pradesh as foreigners and insurgents,” the MP wondered in the letter.
While requesting the PM to revoke the AFSPA from the peace loving state, Ering further pleaded him to give a kind hearing to the people of Dawn-lit Mountains guarding the frontier of the tion.
Meanwhile, the All Nyishi Students’ Union (ANSU) termed the decision to extend AFSPA to 12 districts of the state ‘uncalled and unfortute’ decision of the Centre towards the peace-loving state Aruchal Pradesh.
“AFSPA is not necessary in Aruchal Pradesh as we have no indigenous insurgence groups,” ANSU president Byabang Joram said in a statement.
“There are many drawback of this act which is not good for the state,” it said and appealed state governor Lt Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma to take up the matter seriously with President of India to repeal the decision.
It also urged Minister of State for Home Affair Kiren Rijiju to intervene in the parliament for rollback of AFSPA from Aruchal Pradesh due to which people might face atrocity of armed force.
The union further demanded the state government to take up matter with the prime minister to revoke the decision of extension of AFSPA in all the district of Aruchal Pradesh saying, there was no appropriate ground to implement such draconian law in the state.