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AFSPA: Tripura trashes controversial law after 18 years

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The controversial Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), which has been in effect in Tripura for the last 18 years to curb insurgency, has finally been removed by the north-eastern state.

According to Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is also the Home Minister of the state, the landmark decision was taken during a meeting of the council of ministers during the day.

“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”, Sarkar said.

“They suggested that there is no requirement of the Act now as the insurgency problem has largely been contained. We would soon issue gazette notification in this regard,” Sarkar told reporters.

Highlighting the improved security apparatus in the state, Sarkar said, “When the Act was imposed there were only 42 police stations and two-third of the entire police station areas were under this act.

At present, there are 74 police stations, out of which 26 police stations were fully and 4 were partly under the Act till recently.

The  Act was imposed in the state on February 16, 1997 following spurt of violence by the ultras.

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Why security was beefed up along Tripura border?

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Government decided to beef up security in Tripura. Wikimedia commons
Government decided to beef up security in Tripura. Wikimedia commons

Security along Tripura’s inter-state borders with Assam and Mizoram and international boundaries with Bangladesh has been tightened in view of publication of a part draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and ensuing assembly polls, officials said here on Monday.

“We have deployed additional security forces along Tripura’s inter-state borders with Assam and Mizoram. Border Security Force (BSF) also further strengthened their vigil along the India-Bangladesh borders with Tripura,” a top police officer said.

He said that to thwart any adverse eventuality, all the borders were guarded round-the-clock specially in the odd hours after the publication of part draft NRC in Assam on Sunday mid-night.

“The Election Commission also earlier asked the BSF and the state government to seal the international and inter-state borders in view of the ensuing assembly elections in February,” the officer said, refusing to be named.

According to the officer, surveillance in Tripura’s two check posts along southern Assam was also enhanced through various means.

He said that the Union Home Ministry also asked all the Northeastern states and airport authorities in the region to intensify the security in view of Republic Day celebrations.

Tripura has 856 km international borders with Bangladesh and 109 km and 53 km inter-state borders with Mizoram and and Assam, respectively.

Except for some 20 km, most of the 856-km long borders with Bangladesh are fenced.

According to an official of the state’s Elections Department, the Election Commission would likely announce the assembly polls in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland next week and the elections in these states were likely to be held in third week of February.

Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland all have 60-seat assemblies. (IANS)

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Journalist Killing Protest Creates Chaos, Leads to Shutdown in Tripura

Many activists of different political parties were injured in clashes as the BJP, Congress and other parties called a shutdown on Thursday to protest the killing of a journalist by a Tripura State Rifles (TSR) trooper

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