AFSPA now in force in only four districts: Assam DGP GP Singh
The DGP of Assam Police said on Sunday that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, or AFSPA, will now be in force in only four districts of the state.
GUWAHATI: The DGP of Assam Police said on Sunday that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, or AFSPA, will now be in force in only four districts of the state.
Speaking at the Assam Police Day 2023 celebrations here, DGP Gyanendra Pratap Singh said the ‘disturbed area’ tag, which allows enforcement of the AFSPA, has, however, been withdrawn from other areas across the state.
“From today, only four districts in Assam will have AFSPA in force. These are Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, and Charaideo,” GP Singh said. He, however, said the Act has been withdrawn from other districts. AFSA has been withdrawn from four other districts of Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, and Dima Hasao, where it had been in force since April 1, 2023.
The Central government had last extended the ‘disturbed area’ notification under the AFSPA for another six months, with effect from April 1, 2023, in eight districts. The “disturbed areas” notification is applicable for six months, after which the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is empowered to extend it.
It should be mentioned here that the Assam government had earlier written to the MHA, demanding that AFSPA be lifted completely from the state, following a cabinet decision recently taken to that effect.
The Assam Police Day was celebrated grandly at the 4th AP Bn, Kahilipara·here, and Tapan Deka, the Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), attended as the chief guest. A ceremonial parade was organized on the occasion, with the participation of 12 platoons, including the Women Commandos, Mounted Police, and Assam Police Brass Band platoons.
Assam Police Day is observed to mark the day when the first Indian Imperial Police officer, Mr. K.R. Choudhury, assumed the charge of the head of the Assam Police in 1951.
GP Singh was all praise for the contribution of the constabulary, SIs, Inspectors, Home Guards, and Village Defence Forces (VDP), expressing special wishes for them. He said he had no other expectation from them but to work for the people, work even harder, and help Assam become one of the most developed states in the country.
The DGP said that mistakes were made, but efforts would be made for their rectification. He also admitted to the presence of a few ‘bad elements’ within the force but contended that the entire force of around 70,000 personnel should not be criticized because of the presence of a few such bad elements. He said 97 to 98 percent of the police force worked hard despite the limitations of resources and facilities.
Speaking as the chief guest, IB Director Tapan Deka said that people in the country knew about terrorism in Punjab, but they were not aware of the Assam Police’s diligence and sacrifices made for Assam’s deliverance from the dark days. He said the situation in the state since 1985 has been very bad. During this time, the Assam Police fought against militancy with courage and brought the force to the fore, although they had a lesser mandate.
Director Deka said people should know more about the work of the Assam Police while recollecting his close relations with the Assam Police in his stint of three decades with IB and stressed that he never failed to mention the role of the Assam Police in handling various issues, including militancy and volatile law-and-order situations in various national and international forums.
Deka said there was no specific threat to Assam but admitted that issues would remain as there were international borders along Assam’s territory. He, however, maintained that they would be able to handle any kind of situation with the help of the Assam Police, as they were always alert to any threat.