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AFSPA lift impracticable: O. Ibobi Singh
Correspondent IMPHAL, MAR 17:
Published on 18 Mar. 2011 12:07 AM IST
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Chief minister O. Ibobi Singh Thursday said it was impracticable to lift Armed Forces (Special) Power Act 1958 from the state of Manipur in the prevailing law and order situation.
Addressing the House of the state Assembly, Singh stated even in the neighbouring state of Nagaland where government was maintaining ceasefire with the major underground groups- NSCN (I-M) and NSCN (K), the Act was enforced.
Centre had intervened when the Nagaland government was lifting disturbed area status to pave the way for lifting the Act as there was factional fight among the undergrounds under ceasefire trust with government forces, Ibobi maintained, adding that the Act was still enforced in the state.
He said this during the question hour of the House in reply to a question raised by newly elected legislator K. Sharat of Trinmool Congress from the opposition bench.
Observing that Irom Sharmila, who is on a fast, demanding repeal of the AFSPA has entered 10 years, Sharat asked if there was any step taken up by the government to stop her from her fasting.
Stating that arresting her (Sharmila) repeatedly and keeping her for years in jail would not be a lasting solution, Sharat urged the government to find a way before situation worsened.
Ibobi, in reply, said government was aware of the situations that were likely to come up if any untoward incident happened to Sharmila, adding for this, she has been kept in judicial custody.
He also pointed out that her “attempt to commit suicide” was a crime in the eye of the law. The chief minister however said the government is doing its best to maintain peace and tranquility of the people, Ibobi said.
For the sake of her life, government had lifted disturbed area status from Imphal Municipality area to withdraw AFSPA but she refused to stop her stir demanding lifting the act from the whole of the state, he said.
“I myself went to meet her at the then JN hospital (now JNIMS) on the same day government lifted the Act from IMC area. But she refused to stop her stir and demanded lifting from the whole state,” Ibobi said, reiterating that it will not be possible to withdraw the Act from the whole of the state considering the prevailing situation.

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