TODAY -

Removing AFSPA is impracticable: CM
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, March 17 2011: In the prevailing law and order situation, it is impracticable to lift the Armed Forces (Special) Power Act, 1958, from the state of Manipur, said Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh Thursday, in the House of the state Assembly.

He said that even in the neighbouring state of Nagaland where the government is maintaining a ceasefire with the major underground groups, NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K), the Act is still in force.

The Centre had intervened when the Nagaland government tried to lift the disturbed area status because of the ongoing factional fight among the underground groups and also between them and the government forces the CM explained.

The Chief Minister said this during the question hour of the House in reply to a question raised by newly elected legislator K Sharat of Trinamool Congress from the opposition bench.

On another issue, K Sharat touched on the case of Irom Sharmila.

He said Sharmila has been on a fast demanding for repeal of AFSPA and that her fast has entered 10 years.

K Sharat asked if there were any steps taken up by the government to stop her from her fast.

Arresting her repeatedly and keeping her for years in jail cannot be a solution.

The government needs to find a way before the situation worsens, he insisted.

Chief Minister, in reply, said government is aware of the situation that is likely to come up if any untoward incident happens to Sharmila.

Knowing this, she has been kept in judicial custody.

Sharmila was attempting to commit suicide which is a crime in the eye of the law.

At the same time government is making its best efforts to maintain peace and tranquility in the state, Ibobi said.

He had, on several occasions, asked Sharmila to stop her stir and have strived to convince her to review her stand.

For the sake of her life, government had even lifted the disturbed area status from Imphal Municipality area and have withdrawn the AFSPA from the greater Imphal area, but she refused to stop her stir demanding lifting of the Act from the state.

I went and met her on the day government lifted the Act from the IMC area.


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