Sinlung /
20 July 2015

MHA Declines to Share Information on AFSPA in Arunachal Pradesh

New Delhi, Jul 20 :  The Home Ministry has declined to share, under the RTI Act, the viewpoints of stakeholders on the declaration of districts in Arunachal Pradesh as disturbed area under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), saying the information was classified which may effect sovereignty and integrity of the country.

"The viewpoints of the stakeholders on the declaration of all the districts in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, including Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts bordering the state of Assam, as 'disturbed area' under AFSPA are classified, and therefore, cannot be disclosed under Section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act, 2005," it said in reply to an RTI query filed by Venkatesh Nayak of NGO Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI).

The Section bars "information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the state, relation with foreign state or lead to incitement of an offence".

The Home Ministry also denied to give details of inputs and file notings pertaining to the decision to supersede a notification issued by it to impose AFSPA in the state citing the same clause.

The Ministry, however, said that it has not received any representation, petitions or submissions from anybody on opposing or supporting the notification.

It also declined to give details of documents or records submitted by the state governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura during 2014 to February 1, 2015, for seeking reimbursement of amount under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme.

"This is to inform that there is a scheme of SRE which covers all north east states except Mizoram and Sikkim. The SRE is reimbursed against the expenditure incurred for supporting security apparatus in the insurgency or militancy affected states.

"Since the details of SRE are sensitive in nature, the same is exempt under Para 8(a) of the RTI Act," the Ministry said.

The details of SRE reimbursement cannot be uploaded in the Ministry's official website. However, year-wise and state-wise expenditure released under SRE over the years is uploaded on MHA website, the reply said.


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