The Assam government, led by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, has urged the Centre to repeal the Disturbed Areas Act and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the entire state. This call comes in the wake of a recent meeting between Chief Minister Sarma and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, during which they discussed the matter. Notably, AFSPA was lifted from various parts of Assam last year, but it still remains enforced in eight districts.
Chief Minister Sarma emphasized the state's desire for a complete withdrawal of AFSPA, stating, "We decided to request the central government to withdraw AFSPA completely from the state of Assam. However, we will abide by the decision of the central government."
Earlier this week, Sarma engaged in discussions with Home Minister Amit Shah regarding the roadmap for the complete withdrawal of AFSPA from Assam. The state government release also highlighted the marked improvement in law and order, as well as a significant decrease in casualties among both security personnel and civilians, as compelling reasons for this move. Additionally, Assam has witnessed the voluntary surrender of numerous underground cadres from extremist groups, who turned in substantial caches of arms and ammunition following the signing of various peace accords.
The 'Disturbed Area' notification has been in effect across the entirety of Assam since 1990. In April 2022, AFSPA was rescinded from the entire state, except for nine districts. Subsequently, the number of districts under this stringent law decreased to eight, following its removal from the Lakhipur subdivision of Cachar district.