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MHA reverses decision declaring Arunachal districts’disturbed’

New Delhi: Buckling under pressure, the Home Ministry has withdrawn its recent order declaring all districts of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam as “disturbed areas” under controversial AFSPA and issued a fresh one restricting it to a few police stations, apart from the three districts covered earlier.
“In supersession of the notification dated March 27, 2015, the area falling within the jurisdiction of following police stations in districts of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Assam are declared as ‘disturbed area’ under section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 upto six months,” the latest Home Ministry notification said. On March 27, the Centre had declared 12 districts bordering Assam that include the highly sensitive Tirap, Changlang and Longding, as ‘disturbed area’ as six banned militant groups like NDFB, NSCN and ULFA have their presence, according to the old notification. The fresh decision came after Chief Minister Nabam Tuki hit out at the Centre for declaring 12 districts of his state as ‘disturbed’ under AFSPA without any consultation. Tuki had said such a move was nothing but attack on the federal structure of the country.
“There was no discussion, no consultation. It was a unilateral decision by the central government to declare 12 districts as disturbed area. All these districts are completely peaceful,” he had said. There was opposition to the Home Ministry order from various students and social organisations too. Under the latest order, areas falling under four Police Stations (PS) in Papumpare district, one PS in West Siang district, three PS in East Siang district, one PS in Lower Dibang Valley district, two PS in Bhalukpung district, two PS in Namsai district, one PS in Lohit district and one police station on Lower Subansiri district were declared ‘disturbed area’. In addition, the whole of Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh were declared as ‘disturbed area under the AFSPA for next six months. “A further review of the law and order situation in entire districts in Assam bordering Arunachal Pradesh reveals that areas lying within the police stations in Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam remain a cause of serious concern,” the fresh order said.
The Home Ministry earlier had said there was presence of NDFB-S, NSCN-IM, NSCN-K, ULFA-I, KLO, MPLF along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. Outfits like KYKL, UNLF, PLA and KCP are helping NDFB-S and ULFA-I and KLO in movement of men, material, infiltration and exfiltration. “The NDFB-S have now set up their general headquarters and training camp in Taga, Myanmar, and are reportedly contemplating to find out a new route for arms transhipment from Myanmar via Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The geographical terrain of Arunachal Pradesh puts the militants in advantageous position and is used by the underground outfits as their safe haven,” it had said.
“The left wing extremism is silently trying to infiltrate into the state as it is found to be mostly active in areas of Dhemaji and Tinsukia (both in Assam) bordering the Lower Dibang valley and Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh,” the earlier notification had said. Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,126 km border with China and 520 km border with Myanmar. (PTI)

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