‘Irom’ lady wins partially Tripura scraps AFSPA

Agartala:  Irom Sharmila could win. She could have a hearty meal.

For those of you who are wondering who she and is what does the nation have to do with her having a meal, here’s a quick recap. Irom Sharmila is an activist and she had been fasting since 2000 against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA

The Tripura government has decided to snip the controversial law that gives the army sweeping emergency powers in troubled areas. Therefore, there is hope for Manipur too.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is also the state Home Minister, said the decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

“We have reviewed the situation of the disturbed areas of the state after every six months and also discussed the issue with the state police and other security forces working in the state. They suggested that there was no requirement of the Act now as the insurgency problem has largely been contained,” Sarkar said.

Former union home minister P Chidambaram welcomed the decision in a tweet this morning.

“My plea to repeal #AFSPA heard in Tripura. AFSPA withdrawn. Victory for sanity and humanity,” he tweeted.


What is this law?

The law, which protects the forces from litigation and investigation for counter-terror operations, has been criticized as an excuse for army excesses; the army can shoot to kill, keeping suspects in custody without trial and make arrests without a warrant.

The law is in force in four other northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir.

 The states can remove the law without consulting the Centre, say officials, but ground realities have been far more complicated in states like Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur. 

The law was imposed in Tripura in 1997 to tackle insurgency in the state, following a spurt of militant violence. But in recent years, the state has been largely peaceful.


Sharmila’s struggle

In Manipur, activist Irom Sharmila has been on a fast since 2000 against AFSPA and alleged army atrocities, but the state government claimed it cannot afford to let go of army control. 

(With inputs from agencies)


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