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Army, Police want AFSPA to continue in whole of Assam

Though there is complete peace in lower and central Assam, two districts of upper Assam ate still witnessing insurgent activities led by anti-talk Ulfa which is also known as Ulfa (Independent).” The Army is part of the unified command structure, a supreme counter insurgency body in Assam.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2020, 09.48 AM IST
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Guwahati: Security forces engaged in counter insurgency operations in Assam favour continuation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the entire state. A senior Army officer who did not want to be named told ET, “so long as the Army is stationed in Assam, we need Afspa to work smoothly.

Though there is complete peace in lower and central Assam, two districts of upper Assam ate still witnessing insurgent activities led by anti-talk Ulfa which is also known as Ulfa (Independent).” The Army is part of the unified command structure, a supreme counter insurgency body in Assam.

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Last month, three factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland inked an accord and relinquished the demand for a separate state of Bodoland. With elections to the Sixth Schedule area of Bodoland Territorial Region round the corner, violent incidents have, however, restarted.

Army was requisitioned during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest last December. The protest took a violent turn in Guwahati and in upper Assam and five people were killed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned about the undesirability of Afspa, during a rally in Kokrajhar on February 7. “After we came to power in 2014, Afspa was removed from Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya and several parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Investors were not willing to invest in the region. Now industries are coming up. There was a fight over homeland. Now there is clamour for one strong India.”

The PM’s remarks notwithstanding, the Assam Police too favours continuation ofAfspa. A senior officer in Assam police, who did not want to be named, said “Afspa is necessary now. We need this to deal with some insurgent outfits. Taking advantage of the protest against CAA, anti-talk Ulfa faction has managed to attract fresh recruits.”

The Army officer said “there are hardly any hideouts left for insurgents. “
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