Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said the State will continue to be under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, and a decision on withdrawing it will be taken only if the present peace prevails for a longer term.
He expressed apprehension that the militant groups might not reciprocate the same way if the AFSPA is withdrawn from Assam.
Chief Minister Sarma, however, said that no State Government wants to continue with the AFSPA if the law and order situation is peaceful and conducive.
“The Assam Government is of the view that if this kind of peaceful situation continues at a later date we will be able to take a call on whether we need AFSPA in entire Assam or we need it only in some parts,” the Chief Minister told reporters here.
He cited the example of Arunachal Pradesh, which decided to withdraw the Act in consultation with the Centre from many parts of the State, except in three districts.
“AFSPA or not cannot be a call of the Government. It has to depend on the overall situation, law and order situation of the State. Now suppose I withdraw, will that be reciprocated by the militant organisations? “If they do not withdraw and we do, the Army will not be able to carry out any operation meaning thereby you are inviting chaos. So I think AFSPA withdrawal is linked to the peace and stability of the State,” Chief Minister Sarma said.
Stating that no State Government will want to continue with AFSPA if the law and order situation is peaceful and conducive, he said “I am only saying this in the context of our State and not Nagaland because I have no jurisdiction to do so. On Nagaland I do not have any assessment. I do not want to comment on the situation that exists in that State,” he added.
(Inputs from PTI)