In a significant development, the Union Government announced on Saturday that four more police station areas in Manipur will be removed from the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) with effect from April 1, 2023. This decision comes after the government found significant improvement in the security situation in the northeast region.
The four police stations that will no longer be classified as disturbed areas under AFSPA are Wangoi, Leimakhong, Nambol and Moirang. Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted, "A historic day for the Northeast! PM Narendra Modi led GoI has once again decided to decrease the disturbed areas in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur under the AFSPA."
Shah further added that this decision was a result of PM Modi's prioritization of security, peace and development in the northeast region. He tweeted, "As a result of it, the region today is rapidly heading on the path of peace and development."
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh also welcomed the decision taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs. He said, "This historic moment was achieved following the era of peace and prosperity that came in the state with the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government in Manipur."
It is noteworthy that the disturbed areas declared under the AFSPA in Manipur, except for the Imphal Municipality area, had been in operation since 2004. In April 2022, 15 police station areas of six districts in Manipur were removed from the jurisdiction of the AFSPA owing to significant improvement in the security situation in the state.
With this latest development, a total of 19 police stations in Manipur have been excluded from the jurisdiction of disturbed areas under AFSPA, 1958. The Governor of Manipur has declared the entire state, excluding the areas falling under the jurisdiction of the 19 police stations, as disturbed areas for a period of six months with effect from April 1, 2023.
This decision is being hailed as a major step towards restoring normalcy in Manipur and ensuring the protection of human rights in the state.
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