IMPHAL: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday said that the time had come to review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
"The time has come to review AFSPA. But the complex geography of the state must be taken into account while taking any decision on it," he said. Singh said the state was returning to normal after a history of insurgency and people have started working hand in hand with the government for development of the state.
"Immediately after coming to power, I started Imphal evenings on weekends. People have responded and things started changing. Imphal has a good nightlife now," the chief minister said.
On the ongoing probe into the alleged human rights violations by security forces, the chief minister said he had full faith in the judiciary. -"Justice should be done to all -- the people and also to the security forces,-" he said.
However, army officials say that the act is an enabler and is required to maintain peace and tranquillity in the insurgency-torn state.
Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat said the Act was enforced to bring the situation under control. General Officer Commanding of 57 Mountain Division Major General Vijay Mishra, however, said the Act needs to be in place for now.
"The situation in Manipur is under control but AFSPA needs to remain if we need to maintain peace and tranquillity in the state," he said adding that AFSPA was just not an enabler but a pre-requisite.
On the alleged extrajudicial killings, Mishra said that the army was very sensitive to human rights. -"If you see, the respect for human rights is imbibed into out forces right from the training days. We make sure that they (human rights) are protected at every step," he said.