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AFSPA shame on democracy: Ex-IB official

By R Dutta choudhury

GUWAHATI, Jan 29 � The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is a shame on a democratic country like India and in the year 2011, Assam had the dubious distinction of topping the list of states which recorded �extrajudicial� killings, said former Special Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), RN Ravi.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Ravi said that the AFSPA is the biggest impediment to the restoration of peace in Assam as a war like situation is being created. The states of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, tribal areas of Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh and a 20 kilometer belt along the borders of Assam have been declared disturbed areas under the provisions of the AFSPA. Interestingly, the states hit by violence by the Maoist rebels are not yet declared as disturbed areas under the AFSPA.

Ravi pointed out that the British rulers first passed the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance in 1942 to take action against the Indians who opposed the involvement of India in the World War II. Interestingly, when insurgency broke out in Nagaland, the Parliament of India almost passed the same ordinance as the AFSPA giving sweeping powers to the Armed forces and curtailing the civil liberties of the citizens. Over the years, there have been a large number of incidents of extra judicial killings and other instances of violations of human rights.

The former IB official said that the Army is not for launching operations against its own forces but for dealing with external aggression. There have been instances where the Army was used for limited periods for dealing with situation in other parts of the country, but in the states where the AFSPA is in place, the Army is kept for long periods. The situation in a particular area should be reviewed thoroughly before extending the tenure of the Act, but in case of Assam, the tenure of the Act is being extended every year without thorough examination of the situation.

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AFSPA shame on democracy: Ex-IB official

GUWAHATI, Jan 29 � The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is a shame on a democratic country like India and in the year 2011, Assam had the dubious distinction of topping the list of states which recorded �extrajudicial� killings, said former Special Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), RN Ravi.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Ravi said that the AFSPA is the biggest impediment to the restoration of peace in Assam as a war like situation is being created. The states of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, tribal areas of Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh and a 20 kilometer belt along the borders of Assam have been declared disturbed areas under the provisions of the AFSPA. Interestingly, the states hit by violence by the Maoist rebels are not yet declared as disturbed areas under the AFSPA.

Ravi pointed out that the British rulers first passed the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance in 1942 to take action against the Indians who opposed the involvement of India in the World War II. Interestingly, when insurgency broke out in Nagaland, the Parliament of India almost passed the same ordinance as the AFSPA giving sweeping powers to the Armed forces and curtailing the civil liberties of the citizens. Over the years, there have been a large number of incidents of extra judicial killings and other instances of violations of human rights.

The former IB official said that the Army is not for launching operations against its own forces but for dealing with external aggression. There have been instances where the Army was used for limited periods for dealing with situation in other parts of the country, but in the states where the AFSPA is in place, the Army is kept for long periods. The situation in a particular area should be reviewed thoroughly before extending the tenure of the Act, but in case of Assam, the tenure of the Act is being extended every year without thorough examination of the situation.

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