Despite the fact that Human Rights crusader Irom Chanu Sharmila is on fast for the last 15 years demanding the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Manipur State cabinet has again extended the ‘Disturbed Area Status’ in the entire State for one more year.
Interacting with newspersons after the Cabinet meeting, Government spokesman M Okendro said, ‘The State government had collected comments and opinions from the State Police, Army, CRPF, BSF and other Central security agencies regarding the State’s prevailing law and order situation.’
He further said that most of the security agencies have recommended extension of disturbed areas status for one more year so that they can carry out operations against militants both in the hills and valley area of Manipur.
‘After going through the recommenadtions, the State Cabinet has decided to extend the disturbed area status for one more year under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958,’ he further stated, adding, ‘The Chief Minister reserves the right to review the law and order situation after six months.’
Meanwhile, this decision of the Manipur government has sparked debate amidst the common people and civil society organisations across the State of Manipur. Speaking to ENe, Chairam Ibobi, a resident of Senapati area in Manipur said, ‘Extending disturbed area status will not help in any way, rather it will increase the criminal activities in the State.’