Special powers act extended for six months in TripuraMarch 19th, 2012 - 4:55 pm ICT by IANS
Agartala, March 19 (IANS) The Tripura government has extended for another six months the operation of a stringent law that gives sweeping powers to security forces deployed in disturbed areas to curb terrorism, an official said Thursday.
“The state-level coordination committee (overseeing the anti-insurgency operation in Tripura), recently assessed the overall situation in the state. It has suggested extending the AFSPA
(Armed Forces Special Powers Act) by another six months. The state government has accepted the recommendation,” a state home department official told reporters.
“Although terrorism has come down in Tripura, the Left Front government is averse to taking any chances for some more time,” the official said.
Tripura has 70 police stations. The AFSPA is fully in force in 34 police station and partially in force in six police station areas. The act was first enforced in Tripura in 1997.
The act provides unlimited powers to the security forces to shoot on sight, arrest anybody without a warrant or carrying out searches without hinderance. It also insulates the security forces from legal processes for any action undertaken under the act.
Local rights groups and political parties describe the act as “draconian” and want it repealed.
“Innocent people are victimised by the security forces in the name of anti-insurgency operations,” said Srota Ranjan Khisa, a senior leader of the tribal-based Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), an ally of the opposition Congress.
“Demand for repealing the AFSPA was one of the issues in our movement against the Left Front government,” Khisa told IANS.
According to INPT leaders, several hundred tribal youth have been either detained or arrested under the AFSPA over the years.
Besides Tripura, the AFSPA is also in force in Manipur (excluding the Imphal Municipal Council area), Assam and Nagaland, and in the Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
Human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila of Manipur has been on an indefinite hunger strike since 12 years, demanding withdrawl of the act.
Tripura’s two militant outfits - National Liberation Front of Tripura and the All Tripura Tiger Force - both banned by the Indian authorities, have set up their bases in Bangladesh and get support from other separatist outfits of the northeast. They have been demanding secession of Tripura from India.
“Currently, the number of NLFT cadres is 150 to 155 and the ATTF has 10 to 12 guerillas,” Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who holds the home portfolio, had said here recently quoting intelligence reports.
- AFSPA extended for six months in Tripura - Sep 08, 2011
- Special anti-terror Act extended in Tripura - Sep 08, 2012
- Northeast parties press for repealing army's special powers - Apr 11, 2012
- Controversial anti-terror law to remain in Tripura - Oct 13, 2009
- States should review the AFSPA, says rights panel - May 31, 2012
- Linkages between northeast terrorists continue: Government - Oct 20, 2011
- Armed forces get special powers in Tripura for six months more - Apr 27, 2009
- Special powers for armed forces main poll issue in northeast - Apr 08, 2009
- Controversial anti-terror law to be amended, PM tells tribal leaders - Nov 10, 2009
- Repeal AFSPA in northeastern states, Kashmir: Church panel - Nov 08, 2011
- Khasi students oppose armed forces' special powers - Apr 25, 2011
- Kabir Suman mocks at Mamata's visit to Irom Sharmila - Jan 28, 2012
- Armed forces act to go from some Kashmir areas: Omar - Oct 21, 2011
- Aamir supports Manipur rights activist - Aug 29, 2011
- 'Special powers act, human rights shield for forces' - Mar 24, 2010
Tags: afspa, agartala, assam, coordination committee, hinderance, legal processes, level coordination, manipur, nagaland, nationalist party, opposition congress, police station, police stations, ranjan, rights groups, security forces, station areas, tirap, tribal youth, tripura government