SHILLONG: United Democratic Party president Metbah Lyngdoh on Tuesday demanded from the Central Government to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) which grants special powers to the armed forces to maintain public order in "disturbed areas".
"AFSPA is not a solution as it has not solved the issue of insurgency in the Northeast," Metbah Lyngdoh said. The recent killing of civilians in Mon district of Nagaland is not directly connected with insurgency, so it is a clear message that AFSPA has not solved insurgency in this region, he said.
According to Metbah, there are ways to solve insurgency that can be addressed through dialogue and not bullets. Recounting Meghalaya's anti-insurgency operations that were undertaken by the State Police Department, the UDP Chief appealed for the State machinery to be given the opportunity to handle the internal crisis.
"We should have faith in our police, they have the personnel, the knowledge, the skills, the language and mobility to enable greater effectiveness," the UDP president said. Metbah Lyngdoh reiterated that AFSPA needs to be repealed.