SHILLONG, April 24 - The Centre�s decision to revoke the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from Meghalaya has been hailed by the State Government and various organisations here.
Earlier, the AFSPA had been effective in a 20-km area along the Assam-Meghalaya border. The Union Home Ministry has revoked the AFSPA from Meghalaya and limited the Act�s purview to eight police stations in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday.
The controversial Act gives power to the Army and Central forces deployed in the �disturbed areas� to arrest and search any premises without a warrant and provide cover to forces from prosecution and legal suits.
Border Area Development Minister Lakhmen Rymbui, welcoming the decision, said the Centre�s decision only shows that the law-and-order situation in Meghalaya is peaceful.
�The AFSPA was invoked because militants and criminals operated in tandem along the Assam-Meghalaya border. But the situation has changed and so the Home Ministry has revoked the Act. This is an encouraging step,� Rymbui said.
The minister urged the people in these border areas to cooperate with the Government and ensure that antisocial elements do not misuse the border areas.
North East Students� Organisation (NESO) chairman Samuel Jyrwa said, �NESO welcomes the decision of the Home Ministry, but at the same time we want the AFSPA revoked from other north-eastern States.�
President of Civil Society Women�s Organisation, Agnes Kharshiing also hailed the decision. She added that such Acts have no place in a democratic country like India.