No immediate changes in AFSPA,says PC

Amid demands for scrapping the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act,home minister P Chidambaram on...

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published:August 20, 2010 1:50 am

Amid demands for scrapping the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA),home minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said his ministry had proposed amendments to the Act but these could come into effect only after all concerned parties are consulted.

He also ruled out division of Manipur as demanded by some Naga groups on the ground that pluralistic character of states cannot be wished away,but said efforts are being made to ensure ‘honour,dignity and equal rights’ of the Nagas within the Constitution. Replying to a Calling Attention Motion in the Lok Sabha on the economic blockade enforced by Naga groups in Manipur,Chidambaram said the government would not spare any effort to ensure adequate supply of essential commodities.

Responding to demands from some members for scrapping of AFSPA,which is in force in Jammu and Kashmir and some parts of Manipur,he said the issue was ‘difficult’. He said the home ministry had proposed amendments to the Act but “we have to have consultations with everybody before amendments are made.”

On the situation in Manipur,he said the violence this year was the lowest in a decade,which is an ‘achievement’ of the UPA government. The violence in Manipur has dropped by about 90%,he said while noting that 466 civilians were killed in 2008,264 in 2009 and only 47 till July this year.

Referring to the demands of NSCN(IM) for a greater Nagaland by merging parts of Manipur,the home minister said,“Every state in India is pluralistic. We can’t wish away this fact. Nagas are there in Manipur,Assam,Arunachal Pradesh. It will be inconceivable that we break up the states.”

He asserted there was “no question of altering the integrity of Manipur. Naga areas under Manipur will remain part of the state.”

He said efforts were underway to resolve the issues concerning the Naga Autonomous District Councils.

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