The main opposition Congress has vehemently attacked the ruling BJP-led government in Manipur after local media reports revealed that the state government had declared the entire State of Manipur, excluding the Imphal Municipal Area as “Disturbed Area” for a period of one year with retrospective effect from December 1, 2021.
“Congress rule removed AFSPA from 7 Assembly Constituencies. If Congress comes back to power in 2022, the 1st Cabinet meeting will decide on the immediate and complete removal of AFSPA from the entire state of Manipur,” Congress working president K Meghachandra told reporters in state capital Imphal.
This comes at a time when the main opposition Congress has made repeal of AFSPA as a key plan for Manipur polls and has committed that if voted to power, congress would repeal AFSPA in its first cabinet meeting.
H Gyan Prakash, Special Secretary (Home) Government of Manipur, in a notification on January 8 stated, “Whereas the Governor of Manipur is of the opinion that due to violent activities of various extremist/insurgent groups, the entire State of Manipur is in such a disturbed condition that the use of Armed Forces in aid of civil power is necessary.
“And, whereas the Governor of Manipur is of the opinion that the areas within the State of Manipur be declared as a “Disturbed Area” under the provisions of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, as amended from time to time. Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (Act No.28 of 1958) as amended from time to time, the Governor of Manipur hereby accords ex-post facto approval to declare the entire State of Manipur excluding the Imphal Municipal Area as “Disturbed Area” for a period of 1(one) year with retrospective effect from December 1, 2021,” the notification added.
In August 2004, the AFSPA was lifted from seven assembly segments of Imphal Municipal areas following massive protests.
There is a growing buzz for the AFSPA repeal after 14 youths were killed by security forces in Mon district of Nagaland on December 4 last year.