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Assam Assembly Erupts as Oppn Calls Out Centre for Search and Arrest Power to Assam Rifles

Terming the move 'unconstitutional', Opposition parties called out the grave human rights and fundamental rights violations that this Ministry order would cause.

Biju Kumar Deka | News18.com

Updated:February 22, 2019, 1:37 PM IST
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Assam Assembly Erupts as Oppn Calls Out Centre for Search and Arrest Power to Assam Rifles
Image for representative purposes. (Image: Reuters)
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Guwahati: The Congress, AIUDF and Assam Gana Parishad (AGP) fully opposed the notification issued by Ministry of Home Affairs in the Budget Session of Assam Legislative Assembly on Friday. The Opposition raised the adjournment motion. But the speaker of the assembly didn't allow the adjournment motion.

A notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday empowered Assam Rifles personnel to arrest anyone and search a place without a warrant in northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.

According to the 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. Assam Rifles personnel will exercise these powers and discharge their duties "under sub-section(1) of section 41, sections 47, 48, 49, 51, 53, 54, 149, 150, 151 and 152 of the CrPC within the local limits of the area comprised within the border districts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram."

Opposition leader of Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia said “this (notification) is not acceptable. It's unconstitutional and by this power, it will destroy the human rights and fundamental rights of Northeast peoples."

AGP MLA, Pabindra Nath Deka, also spoke on occasion saying that the "Government of Assam failed to maintain the law and order situation of the state. It's a picture of failure, nothing else."

Post the Assembly session, Aminul Islam, AIUDF MLA from Dhing constituency spoke exclusively to News18 on the question of increased powers of the Assam Rifles: "It's a central government policy to control the agitation against Citizenship Amendment Bill. But we will not accepted it, we will fully opposed the notification."

Its mentionable that section 41 of the CrPC states that any police officer may, without an order from a magistrate and without a warrant, arrest any person. Section 47 gives powers for search of place occupied by the person sought to be arrested.

Section 48 says a police officer may, for the purpose of arresting without warrant any person whom he is authorised to arrest, pursue such person into any place in India.

According to Section 49, the person arrested shall not be subjected to more restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape.

The Assam Rifles is the leading counter-insurgency force in the Northeast. It also guards the sensitive India-Myanmar border.
| Edited by: Aditya Sharma
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