The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or the AFSPA will be applicable to only four districts in Upper Assam from Sunday owing to the improved security situation.
Assam police chief G.P. Singh announced the development during the Assam Police Day parade held here on Sunday.
The parade was reviewed by the intelligence bureau director Tapan Kumar Deka.
The four districts where the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, a contentious central act which gives the armed forces unbridled powers to search, arrest and shoot in areas declared as disturbed, has been extended for another six months are Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar and Charaideo.
The last AFSPA extension on April 1 had covered eight districts, including Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao but these districts were exempted from Sunday because of improved law and order situation.
These districts were once strongholds of ULFA (upper Assam), Dimasa and Karbi rebel outfits active in the hill districts.
However, the BJP-led state government had in early September pushed for the complete withdrawal of the AFSPA from all districts from October 1.
The government had submitted a recommendation to the Centre following a cabinet decision on September 9 for the law’s withdrawal from the entire state because of the “significant improvement” in the state’s security situation.
The AFSPA was first imposed in Assam in 1990 to counter the challenges posed by the armed insurgency but the situation continued to improve gradually from 2010s with most militant groups joining the mainstream. Currently, efforts are on to get the ULFA (I) to the talks table.
Inter-state drug cartel busted
Guwahati: An inter-state drug cartel has been busted in Assam and five peddlers were arrested, including four from Manipur, police said on Sunday.
Heroin worth Rs 2 crore has also been seized during the operation, he said.
“A vehicle coming from Manipur was intercepted at Amingaon in Kamrup district. During the search, 250 gm heroin, worth Rs 2 crore, was recovered,” Assam police spokesperson Pranabjyoti Goswami said.
The three occupants, including two women, were arrested, Goswami said.
The operation was carried out under the leadership of Special Task Force (STF) additional SP Kalyan Pathak, after getting a tip-off late on Saturday.
“After on-spot interrogation, there was follow-up action. The supplier was coming from Manipur on a flight. We arrested him along with his local contact later in the night,” Pathak said.