Disturbed area status extended in Manipur

Manipur

Manipur Cabinet has extended the 'disturbed area' status of the state for one more year till November 30 next year.

This extension will allow security forces to operate and aid civil administration to flush out insurgents by imposing Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state, official sources said on Tuesday.

The decision to extend the disturbed area status was taken during a Cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh late last night, sources said.

The government action followed after going through the reports on the law and order situation submitted by various security agencies including central para military forces, police and others.

Sources said seven Assembly constituencies in Imphal municipality area from where AFSPA had been lifted about two years ago would not be brought under the disturbed area status.

The Assembly constituencies are: Yaiskul, Wangkhei, Thangmeiband, Sagolband, Keisamthong, Uripok and Singjamei.

Barring the seven Assembly constituencies, the status would apply to the rest of the state where AFSPA was in force, sources said, adding that the state had been first declared disturbed area in September, 1980 and AFSPA was imposed in that month for a certain period.

Since then, the disturbed area status has been extended from time to time and AFSPA imposed also from time to time to flush out insurgents from the state.

Social activist Irom Sharmila has been on fast demanding withdrawal of AFSPA for the past 12 years, saying that hundreds of innocent people have been killed in the past three decades by security forces in the name of tackling insurgents.

Various social organisations have also been demanding the repeal of the AFSPA as it affected human rights in the region.

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