Twenty nine years after its imposition, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is set to be withdrawn from Assam in August, and the Centre has already asked the Army to plan its return from the state.
It was on November 27, 1990 — when Ulfa militancy was at its peak — that the entire state was declared a “disturbed area” and AFPSA, which grants special powers to the armed forces while conducting counter-insurgency operations, was imposed. Over the years, the Army has gradually withdrawn from several districts as the situation improved. Police and paramilitary forces have taken the Army’s place.
Last September, the Centre had delegated to Assam the power to extend or withdraw AFSPA. The state government has twice extended the Act, citing the upcoming publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“The NRC process will be through by July 30 (as directed by Supreme Court). We have been informally asked to plan where the operational units will head to after moving out of the state,” a security source said.