Imphal, March 31 2022: In a historic development, Chief N Biren Singh today announced the withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 from different areas under 15 police stations in the valley districts of Manipur for six months starting April 1 .
Addressing the media at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat today, N Biren said that this development is effectuated by the historic announcement of AFSPA 1958 being removed from many parts of three North East States by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the floor of the Parliament.
Following, the State Cabinet agreed to remove the disturbed area status from additional nine police stations viz Sekmai, Lamsang, Patsoi, Lamlai, Irilbung, Thoubal, Bishnupur, Kakching and Jiribam police stations ahead of the press meet.
Now, AFSPA is automatically invalid in areas under the jurisdiction of 15 police stations, including the six police stations viz Imphal, Lamphel, City, Singjamei, Porompat and Heingang PSs where the Act has been inoperative since the past many years.
These police stations come under Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal, Jiribam, Kakching and Bishnupur.
The Chief Minister maintained that the State Government will strive to remove AFSPA from the remaining areas too.
Saying that the removal of AFSPA from certain areas indicates the improving law and order situation of the State, N Biren added that the State Government will now prepare for talks with the militants.
Lauding the Central leaders such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Amit Shah and others for understanding the sentiments of the people and removing AFSPA, the Chief Minister also acknowledged the contribution of from Chanu Sharmila, different CSOs, women and students organisations who protested against the Act for nearly a decade and a half.
The Chief Minister also sought support from all stakeholders and the people of Manipur to remove AFSPA from the entire State.
Responding to media queries, N Biren stated that AFSPA might not have been removed from police stations near border areas for National security reasons.
He continued that the State Government has been pressing the Centre to withdraw AFSPA from the entire Manipur and will continue to do so.
About the indefinite bandh on National Highway 2, the Chief Minister maintained that the State Government never had a talk with the Southern Angami People’s Organisation (SAPO) other than submitting a letter to the Nagaland Government to lift the bandh, the copy of which was also sent to MHA.
Saying that the State Government will not compromise even an inch of land under any circumstances, N Biren continued that the Government has also been apprising any development to MHA regularly.
He further stated that security forces are not being deployed only at Dzuko valley but also at Tungjoy village.
Meanwhile, the State Cabinet has agreed to extend the financial coverage of CMHT to Rs 5 lakh, provide a source of income to at least one member of a family in 68 sub divisions and to reserve RS 100 crore for Manipur Startup programme.
Ministers Th Biswajit, Y Khemchand, K Govindas, Awangbow Newmai, Nemcha Kipgen and Chief Secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar also attended the press meet.