The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday revoked the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Meghalaya, reported PTI. In Arunachal Pradesh, it has been restricted to areas that fall under eight police stations.
AFSPA gives the military sweeping powers to search and arrest, and to open fire if they deem it necessary for “the maintenance of public order”. The law grants military a degree of immunity from prosecution. A legacy of the colonial administration, the law was meant to address emergencies in conflict zones.
The home ministry said insurgency-related incidents in the Northeast have dropped 63% in last four years. Similarly, civilian deaths decreased 83% in 2017 while casualty figures among security forces fell 40%.
In another decision, the ministry increased the aid amount under the surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for militants in the Northeast from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 4 lakh, according to The Indian Express. The government also relaxed the restricted area permit and protected area permit for foreigners visiting Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. However, restrictions will remain in place for those visiting from Pakistan, Afghanistan and China.