The Tripura government
had withdrawn the eighteen-year-old AFSPA from the state with immediate
effect, said chief minister Manik Sarkar.
Agartala, May 28 : The Tripura cabinet withdrew the Armed Forces (Special
Powers) Act (AFSPA) in a state cabinet meeting on Wednesday. The present
six-month term of the Act will expire this month.
government had withdrawn the eighteen-year-old AFSPA from the state with
immediate effect, said chief minister Manik Sarkar. "Insurgency has
come down to near zero in the state. The demand for withdrawing AFSPA
had been made at various levels. But we could not take the final
decision as the security forces did not give the final go ahead," the CM
AFSPA was promulgated in the state on February 16,
1997, owing to the relentless violence and bloodshed during the period.
Following the provisions of the Act, it was reviewed and extended every
six months for the past 18 years.
"Recently, when the proposal
of further extension of AFSPA came up for discussion to the state
government, we sought report from all concerned departments about the
law and order and the militant's movement and activities. Finally, the
security agencies have agreed to the proposal of withdrawing the Act,"
the CM said.
Initially, AFSPA was imposed across two-thirds of
the police station areas in the state but gradually its extent was
reduced with improving situation. At present, AFSPA is operational fully
in 26 police station areas and partially in four police station areas
out of 74 police stations and 36 outposts of Tripura.
has been a qualitative change in the law and order and the state is
witnessing development. Peace loving people do not want violence anymore
and rather look forward to all round development on a par with the rest
of the country. We reviewed and found out that AFSPA need not be
extended further," he added.
With the Act's withdrawal, the
people of the state can freely travel on National Highway 44 till 12
midnight, which till recently was allowed till 10pm, the CM said.
On the issue of repatriation of Bru inmates from six camps of North
Tripura to Mizoram, the CM maintained that the Centre had made several
attempts to send them back to their homeland, but the Nagaland
government was against it and even a section of self-styled Bru leaders
had prevented it.
"The ministry of home affairs has initiated
the process, following the apex court's direction, to repatriate them to
Mizoram for their secure future. We are hoping that the Mizoram
government, too, will cooperate in the process and ensure their safety
and other basic needs," he said.