SHILLONG, Oct 21 (PTI) – The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives protection to security forces in disturbed areas, resulted in irresponsible activities, Meghalaya’s former Chief Information Commissioner GP Wahlang said.“It gives blanket protection to security force and this is bad. It gives protection for any act done or purported to be done by them (forces) in exercise of the power, under the Act and this resulted in irresponsible activities,” Wahlang said while deliberating on a consultation meet here.
The former State CIC was addressing the inaugural function of the North East Consultation on ‘Human Rights: Soliciting People’s Opinion on Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958’ organized by the North East Students’ Organization (NESO) and hosted by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU).
He said the law is “bad” in a sense that it does not prescribe the duration of its operation in any particular area nor does it provide for any periodic review.
Wahlang called upon pro-human rights institutional machineries such as the State Human Rights Commission, the State Women Commission and the State Information Commission to deal with any violation of human rights due to excessive exercising of the law.
NESO secretary general Sinam Prakash alleged the exercise of special powers has also gone way beyond the ‘limited purpose’ as the military stationed in the ‘disturbed areas’ have indulged in rampant violation of human rights, including aerial bombing, grouping and re-grouping, enforced ‘disappearances’, extrajudicial executions, rape and sexual violence.
NESO chairman Samuel B Jyrwa informed that the resolution adopted through such consultations would be submitted to the Centre and all the MPs from the NE region, urging them to voice about the issue.
AFSPA is in force in several North East States.