Guwahati: The Assam government is not considering any proposal to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act in August this year.
Admitting that term of last extension of AFSPA is going to lapse in August, authoritative security sources here on Saturday said that it will be extended again as there is no proposal or consideration before the state administration to withdraw it.
Asserting that neither the issue of withdrawing the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act (AFSPA) nor any direction asking Army to go back to barrack has been issued by the state administration, security sources here on Saturday indicated that Assam government may issue a formal clarification after opening of the offices on Monday.
Pointing out that state administration has not authenticated such report in a section of media claiming withdrawal of AFSPA in Assam, sources said that Mr Chidambram reaction was based on false report. Security sources also clarified that Centre has no role in extending the AFSPA in Assam as it has now been left on the necessity and wisdom of the state government. Congress leader P Chidambaram had criticised the Modi government on Friday after a newspaper reported that the Centre was planning to withdraw AFSPA in Assam.
According to reports, the law is likely to be withdrawn in August and the Centre has asked the Army to plan its return from the state. AFSPA gives the military sweeping powers to search and arrest, and to open fire if they deem it necessary for “the maintenance of public order”, and to do so with a degree of immunity from prosecution.
“BJP criticised the Congress Manifesto promise to review AFSPA,” Mr Chidambaram tweeted. “Now, Modi Government is planning to withdraw AFSPA totally from Assam! During the campaign, Mr Modi never answered the question why AFSPA was withdrawn from Tripura, Meghalaya and parts of Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
Pointing out his presence in almost all the security review meetings, a senior police officer of the Assam Police said that issue of withdrawing the AFSPA never came up before them.
About the report claiming Army being asked to plan its return, security sources said that they do not have any such information or communication asking army to plan their return from law and order duty in Assam.