Forty Years Ago, July 25, 1978: AFSPA in Manipur

The Manipur valley area was declared a disturbed and dangerous area under the Armed Forces (Manipur and Nagaland) Act and the army was called out to assist the civil administration in dealing with the law and order situation.

By: Editorial | Updated: July 25, 2018 12:15:55 am
Forty Years Ago, July 25, 1978: AFSPA in Manipur The front page of The Indian Express on July 25, 1978

The Manipur valley area was declared a disturbed and dangerous area under the Armed Forces (Manipur and Nagaland) Act and the army was called out to assist the civil administration in dealing with the law and order situation. This was the first time the powers under the Act were invoked to quell violence in Manipur, since the enactment was placed in the statute book. The step was taken by the administration in the wake of deterioration of law and order including shooting and killing of policemen by underground elements. A series of violent incidents in which security men were killed took place in broad daylight. Two policemen were killed, a bank was looted and two Manipur rifles men were shot. All the arms and ammunition belonging to the police and rifle men were taken away by the assailants.

Ex-LG’s Suicide

The crime branch of the Delhi Police said the former Lt-Governor Kishan Chand had committed suicide. His body was found in an abandoned well near Shahpur Jat village on July 10. A crime branch official said the conclusion was reached after studying the report of the handwriting experts of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory and “carefully weighing all available evidence.” The report of the handwriting expert claimed that both the notes — the one found at the well and the other in Kishan Chand’s bedroom — were written by Kishan Chand and matched the handwriting samples provided by the police.

Janata Crisis

The Janata Party was slipping into a crisis as the peace-makers found it difficult to establish the principle of consensus in the working of the party. The peace-makers, which included Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Biju Patnaik and Madhu Limaye, are in favour of restoring the status quo that is, having Charan Singh and Raj Narain back in the government.

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