Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister of Assam, stated on Monday that the state intends to totally repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) by the end of this year. CM Sarma tweeted, “We will also employ ex-military personnel to train our police force.” Himanta Biswa Sarma attended the first-ever commandants’ meeting on Monday at the Police Training Centre in Dergaon as part of the ongoing effort to modernise the police in Assam.
“AFSPA will be lifted from the entire state by November. This will facilitate the replacement of CAPFs by Assam Police Battalions. However, the presence of CAPFs as required by law shall be in place,” one of the highlights from his speech made at the conference stated. In his opening remarks, Chief Minister Sarma stated that the conference would be held every six months due to the commandants’ significant contributions and those of the Assam Police Battalions.
The purpose of the conference is to assist the Assam Police Battalions in becoming dynamic organisations capable of carrying out their mandate. The Disturbed Areas notification under the AFSPA was repealed by the Centre last year, although it remained in effect in around nine districts and one subdivision of another district throughout the whole state of Assam.
However, as of April 1, 2023, the notice was removed from one more state district, limiting AFSPA to just eight districts in Assam. The Indian Parliament passed the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in 1958, which gives the Indian Armed Forces special authority to uphold law and order in “disturbed areas.” The Disturbed Areas Act of 1976 states that once an area is designated as “disturbed,” it must remain that way for at least three months.