Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that the state is aiming to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, (AFSPA) completely from the state by the end of this year.
“We will also rope in ex-military personnel to train our police force,” CM Sarma tweeted. As part of the sequel undertaken to bring about police modernization in Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday attended the first-ever conference of the commandants at the Police Training Centre in Dergaon.
“AFSPA will be lifted from the entire state by November. This will facilitate the replacement of CAPFs by Assam Police Battalions. However, the presence of CAPFs as required by law shall be in place,” one of the highlights from his speech made at the conference stated.
Delivering his introductory speech, Chief Minister Sarma said that considering the important role played by the commandants and the Assam Police Battalions, the commandants; the conference will be organised every six months.
The conference has been organised to help the Assam Police Battalions transform them into vibrant bodies capable of meeting their mandate.
While the Disturbed Areas notification under AFSPA was removed by the Centre from the entire state of Assam last year, it was still in force in about nine districts and one sub-division of another district.
However, starting April 1, 2023, the notification was lifted from one more district in the state, which meant that AFSPA was restricted to only eight districts of Assam.
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 is an act of the Parliament of India that grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”. According to the Disturbed Areas Act, 1976 once declared ‘disturbed’, the area has to maintain status quo for a minimum of 3 months.