Guwahati, Oct 31 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Assam government is considering withdrawing Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) from at least two more locations in the state, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday.
At a function to offer financial support to surrendered militants for their rehabilitation, he claimed that peace has returned to Assam and the northeast and the AFSPA has been already withdrawn from 65 per cent areas of the state.
"We are considering withdrawing AFSPA from Lakhipur sub-division of Cachar district and from the entire Karbi Anglong," he added.
Sarma further said that following the withdrawal of AFSPA from two more areas, the law will be effective only in six districts of upper Assam.
On October 1, the Assam government had withdrawn the 'disturbed area' tag from West Karbi Anglong district under the contentious AFSPA, while AFSPA was extended for another six months in Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, and Dima Hasao districts along with Lakhipur sub-division of Cachar district.
The Chief Minister said: "Assam has seen a lot of bloodshed. Now, it is our duty to stop it and develop the state."
Sarma has dropped hints about the state government's plan to launch an ambitious scheme to provide employment opportunities to unemployed youths.
He handed over demand drafts to 318 former militants, who had laid down their arms in the past.
Also, a one-time grant of Rs 1.5 lakh each was offered to the surrendered cadres of the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), United Gorkha People's Organisation (UGPO), Tiwa Liberation Army (TLA), Kuki Liberation Front (KLF), Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) and Kuki National Liberation Army (KNLA).
Sarma informed that over 6,780 cadres of various militant organizations have laid down their arms since he assumed the office of Chief Minister last year.
"In the last one-and-half year, all militant organisations in Assam except the ULFA-I have returned to the mainstream of the society. I again appeal to the ULFA-I chief Paresh Barua to take the society forward by peace and not by bloodshed," he added.
Assam DGP Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta and other senior officials of Assam Police, Army, and paramilitary forces were present on the occasion.