Order to Empower Assam Rifles to Arrest, Search Sans Warrant Withdrawn?
| Brown Nongmaithem, Imphal, Manipur - 22 Feb 2019

Order to Empower Assam Rifles to Arrest, Search Sans Warrant Withdrawn?

 

By Brown Nongmaithem with Sanjoo Thangjam

Imphal, February 22, 2019: Has the Union Ministry of Home Affairs withdrawn its order empowering the Assam Rifles (AR) personnel to arrest anyone and search a place without a warrant in the North Eastern States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram?  According to a local cable ISTV Network, the Union Home Ministry has withdrawn its order empowering the Assam Rifles personnel to arrest anyone and search a place without a warrant. However, Assam Rifles has neither confirmed nor denied this report.

Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that the arbitrary powers given to Assam Rifles in the Northeast India, is a precautionary measure in the Northeast states in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attack in Kashmir. There are intelligence inputs that there might be a terrorist attack in the Northeast region, he said, Such step is a security measure for the welfare of the nation and it has nothing to do with the common people of the state.

Earlier, addressing the House during the ongoing State Assembly Session today on February 22, the chief minister N Biren Singh intimated that an official of the ministry told him over the telephone that the power granted to the Assam Rifles will only be exercised in Indo-Myanmar boarder districts and thus, he further appealed to the people not to panic over the matter. 

In response to a question raised by media persons on possible outcome in Manipur due to center’s empowerment of AR personnel to arrest anyone and search a place without warrant in five North Eastern States amidst people’s continuous rebel against the infamous Arm Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) and government’s stand on issue, the chief minister N Biren Singh had replied that security review will be conducted and that his government will continue to safeguard the people of the state as report.

According to Home Ministry notification of February 21 “"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 to arrest anyone and search a place without warrant in northeastern States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.

According to a Home Ministry notification, 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", the notification said.

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 to the security forces for the search of a place entered 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 authorized 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 North East. It also guards the sensitive India-Myanmar border. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, which is operational in some parts of the North East, also gives similar powers to the Army operating in the region.

On the sidelines of the flag off ceremony of Motor Car Rally CM N Biren Singh mentioned that road safety has become a cause of concern in our times and such rally would take up advocacy on road safety concerns to the public. He mentioned that the rally will also help in reaffirming our belief in the principles of truth, non-violence and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

It may be mentioned that the Motor Car Rally was flagged-off by Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways  Nitin Gadkari on 4th February 2019 from Rajghat in Delhi. The Motor Car Rally is organized by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India in collaboration with the Kalinga Motors Sports Club, Odisha to commemorate the 150th year of Gandhiji’s Birth Anniversary. The rally will conclude at Yangon in Myanmar on Feb 24, 2019.

The motor car rally team was also warmly received at Jiribam District Administration and Jiribam Police on 21. Altogether 32 individuals are taking in the rally which will culminate at Yangoon, Myanmar after covering a distance of approximately 7,250 kilometers.

Minister for CAF & PD Karam Shyam, Addl. Chief Secretary Dr. Suhel Aktar, Commissioner (Transport)  M. Lakshmikumar Singh, Director of Transport Arthur Worchuiyo and others attended the function.

Flag of ceremony of Motor Car Rally from Imphal for Yangoon...


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