HOME MINISTRY PUTS ASSAM RIFLES NOTIFICATION ON HOLD
GS 3: Internal Security
Why in News?
The Home Ministry has kept “in abeyance” its order that empowered the Assam Rifles, deployed along the Myanmar border, to arrest anyone and search a place without a warrant in the border districts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram. The notification was withheld after Opposition parties moved an adjournment motion against the order in the Assam Assembly. The Ministry said the matter would be “revisited in consultation with the State governments”.
- Recently Assam Rifles, deployed along the Myanmar border, had empowered by the Centre to arrest anyone and search a place without warrant in the border districts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.
- According to a Home Ministry notification, “an officer of the rank corresponding to that of the lowest rank of members of the Assam Rifles” has been given these powers under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- Earlier, Assam Rifles was making arrests only in areas where the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was in effect. They were finding it difficult to make seizures and arrest in Mizoram, which doesn’t have AFSPA. This is to basically correct that anomaly. As per law, they have to hand over the suspects to the local police within 24 hours.
- The MHA had lifted AFSPA from some areas of Arunachal Pradesh last year.
Assam Rifles is the oldest of the Central Para Military Forces. Though the organisation has a cadre of its own officers, most senior positions are filled by taking officers on deputation from the Army.
The Force functioned under the control of the Ministry of External Affairs till 1965. Its control was then transferred to the Ministry of Home Affairs and has since been functioning under that Ministry.
The Assam Rifles Act, 1941, presently governs the Force. Its charter of functions include –
- Maintaining security of the North Eastern sector of the international border;
- Helping states in the North East to maintain law and order and other states as and when needed
- Taking counter insurgency measures in states of the North East.