Guwahati: The Assam government is working to remove the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from five more districts as the law and order situation in the state has improved significantly over the past two years, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
Addressing a press conference to mark the completion of two years of his government, the Chief Minister said that the removal of AFSPA from 60 percent of the state and the signing of peace accords with various armed groups in the state had created an atmosphere of peace.
“Various initiatives by Prime Minister Narendra Modi have resulted in peace accords with several armed groups, AFSPA has been removed from 60 percent of the state, besides resolving border issues with Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya,” he said.
He said it has given a message of hope to the youth and ‘we hope to remove AFSPA from five more districts by the end of this year’.
The Center had removed AFSPA from the entire state of Assam with effect from 1 April 2022, barring nine districts and a sub-division of Cachar district, and later from Lakhipur sub-division and West Karbi Anglong district.
The state was declared a ‘disturbed area’ under AFSPA on the intervening night of 27-28 November 1990 and has been extended every six months since then.
Sarma said the border dispute with Arunachal Pradesh has been fully resolved while an agreement has been reached in six of the 12 disputed areas with Meghalaya and talks for the remaining areas will begin next month.
He added that the Assam government has also taken steps to find an amicable solution to the border issues with Mizoram and Nagaland.
The Chief Minister said that the state government would also set up five additional courts to prevent child sex crimes and was also considering setting up a dedicated judicial cadre of government-appointed public prosecutors and additional public prosecutors.
He said that the government will continue its zero tolerance policy against drug trafficking and during the last two years, 5,659 cases have been registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act while more than 5,431 drugs have been seized. The smugglers have been arrested.
He added that the government would also set up a dog squad to detect drugs hidden in secret chambers of vehicles.
Referring to the education sector, the Chief Minister said that the state will implement the New Education Policy (NEP) from this year with four-year integrated degree course starting this year.
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