Agartala: Tripura has extended for another 6 months the operation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), a severe law that gives sweeping powers to security forces deployed in disturbed areas to curb terrorism, an official said on Thursday.
A state home department official told reporters that “The state level coordination committee (SLCC), supervising the anti-insurgency operation in the state, recently reviewed the overall situation and suggested to extend the AFSPA’s term in Tripura by another six months. The state government has accepted the recommendation.”
“Though militancy has come down in Tripura, the Left Front government is averse to taking any chances for some more time,” he added.
Tripura has 70 police stations areas under 34 of them have the AFSPA in full force whereas in areas under 6 of them the AFSPA has been imposed incompletely.
The 1958 act offers unlimited powers to the security forces to shoot on sight, arrest anybody without a warrant, or cayy out searches without hamper. It also insulates the security forces from legal processes for any action assume under the act.
Tribal based Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) leader Srota Ranjan Khisa told reporters “Innocent people are victimised by security forces in the name of anti-insurgency operations.”
“Demand for repealing the AFSPA was one of the issues in our ongoing movement against the Left Front government,” Khisa said.
Besides Tripura, the AFSPA is now in force in states of Manipur exclusive of the Imphal Municipal Council area, Assam, Nagaland and Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
Human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila of Manipur has been on an indistinct hunger strike since 11 years, demanding rescinding of the act.