Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday exuded confidence that AFSPA will soon be revoked from entire Assam, as improved law and order and peace accords with militant outfits during the last six years have already led to its partial withdrawal in the state.
He said that due to the efforts of the Centre and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, most of the militant outfits have entered into peace agreements and the “day is not far when the entire state will be completely free from insurgency and violence”.
Shah was addressing a gathering after presenting the President's Colour, a special flag, to the Assam Police. It is the highest honour to be given to any military or police unit in recognition of exceptional service rendered to the nation, both in peace and war.
“The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been revoked from 23 districts, and partially from one district. I am confident that it will be completely withdrawn from the entire state soon,” he said.
The Act was extended 60 times in the state since 1990 but now, instead of special laws, youths can look forward to development and a bright future, the union minister said.
He said that those who have surrendered and returned to the mainstream are being rehabilitated by both the central and Assam governments and they will participate in the development journey of the state.
Shah said accords were signed with all four factions of the NDFB and militant outfits in Karbi Anglong, while 274 cases against 427 cadres of them were withdrawn by the state government.
“The Assam Police has a glorious history and has successfully tackled insurgency, border issues, smuggling of arms, drugs and cattle, rhino poaching and social issues like witchcraft to emerge as one of the foremost police forces of the country,” Shah said.
The force also successfully dealt with partition, the communal clashes that followed, refugee problems, infiltration and the Bangladesh Liberation War, he said.
Assam Police has tackled banned insurgent bodies like ULFA, NDFB, NSCN and other outfits for three decades within the constitutional framework and under the Unified Command has helped the army effectively to ensure both border and internal security, Shah added.
“It rightly deserves to be honoured with the President's Colour and I, as the home minister, am very proud of the force,” he said.
The union minister who inspected a guard of honour before the presentation of the President's Colour said the state government has embarked on the path of modernisation of the police force.
Shah presented the honour to the state police in presence of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta at the 'Alankaran Parade' ceremony held at the Nehru Stadium here.
The flag is engraved with Assam's map with 36 stars representing the districts of the state, a one-horned rhino and the insignia of Assam Police with the motto 'Janahitjanaswarthe' (for people's welfare and interest).
Assam is the 10th state in the country to receive the President's Colour. Three heads of Vaishnav monasteries blessed the flag before the presentation.
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