Panel to review withdrawal of army's special power in India's Nagaland after mass protests

Chief Minister of India's northeastern state of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio Sunday announced that a committee will discuss the withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state.

"A committee to look into the withdrawal of the AFSPA in Nagaland will be instituted," Rio said on his social media account, adding that the committee will submit its report within 45 days.

According to Rio, the decision was taken during his meeting with federal Home Minister Amit Shah on Dec. 23 in New Delhi.

The demand for the withdrawal of AFSPA, which gave a wide range of powers to the army, increased in Nagaland after 14 civilians were killed earlier this month in a botched Indian army operation and the subsequent violence in the state's Mon district.

Protests demanding the withdrawal of AFSPA were held across the state.

In a statement, the government said that a court of enquiry will initiate disciplinary proceedings against the army unit and personnel involved in the incident.

"The identified persons who will face inquiry will be suspended immediately," the statement read.

Last week, the Nagaland lawmaking body unanimously decided to demand a repeal of AFSPA from the northeast, especially the state. 

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