The issue of the extension of the
AFSPA in Nagaland was raised in the state Assembly on Thursday, with the members voicing concern over the matter.
Opposition Naga People's Front MLA Imkong L Imchen said the Centre has been extending the law over the years despite the state government recommending against it.
He said the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 infringes upon the fundamental rights of the people.
The Centre had issued a notification on December 30 last year extending the law, which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior notice, in Nagaland till July-end.
Imchen wondered why the law is being extended despite the ongoing talks between the Centre and the Naga outfits.
"Law and order is a state subject. When the Nagaland cabinet says 'no' (to the extension of AFSPA), why does the Centre not accept it? AFSPA is terrifying and unmerciful to the citizens," Imchen said, calling on the 60-member House to discuss the issue "very sincerely and seriously".
Agreeing to the senior opposition legislator's suggestion, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said, "This issue is very important as the people of the state have felt its effect."
He informed the House that the Union Home Minister always seeks the state government's suggestion "just as a formality" before extending the law.
"Every time suggestion is sought, the state Cabinet discusses the matter and tells the Centre that there is no need to extend AFSPA or the Disturbed Areas Act," Rio said.
He expressed fears that till the Naga political issue is resolved, the AFSPA will remain imposed and the Centre will keep extending it.
Observing that the public feels that the state Cabinet is not serious about preventing the extension of AFSPA, Rio said, "Though law and order is a state subject, the Naga political issue is being dealt with by the Centre because of which the Nagaland government's views are not considered".
Asserting that there is no difference of thought between the ruling and opposition members of the House over the issue, Rio said deliberations over the matter can be held in the next session of the Assembly.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)