Garo Hills Progressive Alliance which enjoys the support of 16 of the 29 members of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, one of the tribal councils in Meghalaya, has expressed its opposition to the likely imposition of the dreaded Arm Forces Special Powers Act in the Garo Hills region.

We feel that imposition of AFSPA is not the way forward in such situations and feel that such draconian acts should be completely scrapped, GHPA leader and present chief executive member Denang T Sangma said in a letter to Minister of state for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju.

Stating that military action is not a viable solution, the GHPA which is led by the ruling National Peoples’ Party said that one of the major cause of insurgency, in any region, is the socio economic conditions that prevail in the area.

The newly-elected members opposed the likely imposition of AFSPA citing the instances of states and regions where AFSPA has been in place.

Besides militancy growing from bad to worse, Sangma said, There have also been many instances of human rights violations that have taken place and, instead of targeting militants, sometimes the common innocent citizens have become the target, which is very unfortunate".

A full bench of the High Court had on November 2 asked the Centre to consider imposing AFSPA in militancy-hit Garo Hills region to help the administration restore the rule of law where nearly 90 kidnappings had taken place in this year alone, several of whom were killed.

Meanwhile, Union minister Kiren Rijiju who was here last night remained tight-lipped on the issue when queried by media persons.

Rijiju who attended India s biggest festival of the indigenous people said, It is not the right time to talk of negative things. 

So also Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma, who chose not to respond when asked.