Centre has been lifting AFSPA in the Northeast incrementally. This must continue

Source: The post is based on the article “Centre has been lifting AFSPA in the Northeast incrementally. This must continue” published in the Indian Express on 28th March 2023.

Syllabus: GS – 3: Security challenges and their management in border areas.

Relevance: About removal of disturbed area tags and insurgencies from North East.

News: The Centre has lifted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 from more police station limits in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. This is the second time in a year that the Centre has reduced areas under AFSPA in the Northeast. This highlights the reduction of insurgencies from North East.

What are the areas under AFSPA at present?

Read here: Go, Afspa, Go – Every N-E district freed of this draconian law represents an advance. But it’s time to consider full repeal 

About Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA

Must read: Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA

About AFSPA in North East

The prevalence of insurgencies is felt in almost all states in the Northeast. For example, the Naga rebellion since the 1940s, the Mizo uprising since the 1960s, radical Left groups in Manipur in the 1970s, and the ULFA in Assam in the 1980s. This necessitated the imposition of the AFSPA. The Army was sent in because the civil administration had failed to control the situation.

Read here: Explained: AFSPA and the Northeast

How does the government reduce insurgencies from North East?

a) Since the ceasefire with Nagas in 1997, successive governments have pushed for talks with the rebels, b) Assam has negotiated with its rebels — Ulfa, Bodo and Dimasa groups — despite stray incidents, c) The Mizo rebels, who signed a peace accord in 1986 when Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister, joined electoral politics in Mizoram and won office, and d) The Tripura government has successfully negotiated the insurgency and got the AFSPA removed in 2015.

What should be done to utilise the reduction in insurgencies from North East?

Recently, the Manipur government had withdrawn the ongoing ceasefire pact with two Kuki militant groups. They were among the 25 Kuki-Chin-Mizo militant groups with which the state had signed a “Suspension of Operations” agreement.

A stable Northeast is extremely important, especially when Myanmar is in crisis. So, the government has to maintain a balance between regional and ethnic identity assertion and nationalism.


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