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2015 was most peaceful for NE in last 25 years

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, May 6 - The year 2015 turned out to be the most peaceful year in the North East in terms of violence involving militants in the last 25 years, but large-scale extortions, particularly in Assam and Meghalaya, remains a cause of concern. Moreover, the Government of Assam, despite the improvement of the overall situation, has been opposing the withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that since 1990, last year was the most peaceful in the North East, as major militant groups suffered major setbacks, while a number of outfits came forward to solve their problems through talks. However, the governments of the States of the region cannot afford to lower their guards and the Centre is also keeping a close watch on the situation to prevent the outfits from bouncing back.

Sources said that extortions remain a cause of major concern, particularly in Assam and Meghalaya. Along with militant groups, criminal gangs are also indulging in extortions in the name of militant groups, making use of the availability of illegal weapons. Sources said that it is the responsibility of the concerned State governments to take strong action against those involved in extortions as law and order is a State

subject. Even if members of militant groups under ceasefire agreement indulge in extortions, the concerned State governments should take strong action against them. From time to time, the MHA sent advisories to the State governments but it is for the States to act, sources added.

Replying to a question on whether the Centre would consider withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act considering the improvement of the overall law-and-order situation, MHA sources said that no such decision has yet been taken. However, at the same time, the sources revealed that the concerned State governments would have to approve the withdrawal of the Act. The Act was withdrawn from Tripura after the State Government strongly recommended it.

But the Assam Government has always been advocating the continuance of the Act. Whenever the time comes for reviewing the continuance of the Act, the Assam Government has been making a strong plea that the Act should not be withdrawn and accordingly the Centre has been extending the Act in the State. �If the Centre withdraws the Act by going against the wishes of the State Government, the responsibility would come to the Centre. If any major incident of violence takes place, the State would place the blame entirely on the Centre,� sources added.

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2015 was most peaceful for NE in last 25 years

GUWAHATI, May 6 - The year 2015 turned out to be the most peaceful year in the North East in terms of violence involving militants in the last 25 years, but large-scale extortions, particularly in Assam and Meghalaya, remains a cause of concern. Moreover, the Government of Assam, despite the improvement of the overall situation, has been opposing the withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that since 1990, last year was the most peaceful in the North East, as major militant groups suffered major setbacks, while a number of outfits came forward to solve their problems through talks. However, the governments of the States of the region cannot afford to lower their guards and the Centre is also keeping a close watch on the situation to prevent the outfits from bouncing back.

Sources said that extortions remain a cause of major concern, particularly in Assam and Meghalaya. Along with militant groups, criminal gangs are also indulging in extortions in the name of militant groups, making use of the availability of illegal weapons. Sources said that it is the responsibility of the concerned State governments to take strong action against those involved in extortions as law and order is a State

subject. Even if members of militant groups under ceasefire agreement indulge in extortions, the concerned State governments should take strong action against them. From time to time, the MHA sent advisories to the State governments but it is for the States to act, sources added.

Replying to a question on whether the Centre would consider withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act considering the improvement of the overall law-and-order situation, MHA sources said that no such decision has yet been taken. However, at the same time, the sources revealed that the concerned State governments would have to approve the withdrawal of the Act. The Act was withdrawn from Tripura after the State Government strongly recommended it.

But the Assam Government has always been advocating the continuance of the Act. Whenever the time comes for reviewing the continuance of the Act, the Assam Government has been making a strong plea that the Act should not be withdrawn and accordingly the Centre has been extending the Act in the State. �If the Centre withdraws the Act by going against the wishes of the State Government, the responsibility would come to the Centre. If any major incident of violence takes place, the State would place the blame entirely on the Centre,� sources added.