Shillong Oct 5 : The North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF) today appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to revoke the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from North East states particularly Manipur, saying law and order situation has improved considerably in the region.
NEDF convener U Nobokishore demanded that the Act be immediately revoke in the larger interest of Indian democracy and international humanitarian laws.
Urging the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of the cabinet committee on security which deals with AFSPA, Nobokishore said, the committee should discuss and take into consideration the recommendations of the UN to repeal AFSPA.
The NEDF is a conglomeration of civil societies, religious bodies, intellectuals and academicians from the northeast working on the issues of conflict transformation and peace building, environment, health, women and children.
The AFSPA has been operative in the north eastern states, first in Manipur and Assam since 1958. It was first promulgated as an ordinance in the north east in 1958. In 1972 it was extended to Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura before it was extended to Jammu and Kashmir in 1990.
In the states which come under the Act, the armed forces are also entrusted with the right to arrest without warrant and to detain people without a time limit. It also gives legal immunity to army personnel.
According to Rev P B M Basaiawmoit, NEDF adviser, the law and order situation has improved considerably in these states and the government ought to find new ways to build the confidence of the local people so as to sustain peace and stability.