Kiren Rijiju says ‘not aware of’ Centre declaring Nagaland as ‘disturbed area’

NEW DELHI: Minister of state Kiren Rijiju, who looks after the northeast division in the home ministry, seems to have been bypassed in recent decision to declare entire Nagaland as “disturbed area” under the AFSPA with clear indications emerging of his unhappiness.

Sources said the home ministry file related to the extension of “disturbed area” in Nagaland for one more year never reached Rijiju’s desk even though he is technically head of the northeast division.

The file was never put before Rijiju, notwithstanding the fact he has been playing a key role in issues related to the northeast and has been continuously travelling to that part of the country, they said.

When contacted, Rijiju said he was not aware of any decision on extending the “disturbed area” status in Nagaland.

“I am not aware about any decision of extending disturbed area in Nagaland,” he told PTI in a huff, indicating his displeasure.

There have been reports of discontentment in Nagaland over the decision and civil society groups have reportedly expressed their anguish.

On June 30, the Centre declared entire Nagaland as a “disturbed area” stating that a “dangerous condition” prevails in the state and armed forces should assist the civil administration in maintaining law and order.

In a gazette notification, the home ministry said that it was of the opinion that the whole state of Nagaland is in such a disturbed or dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary.

“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, the central government hereby declares that whole of the said state to be a disturbed area for a period of one year with effect from June 30, 2015 for the purpose of the act,” the notification said.

But the sources stressed that Rijiju continues to have good working working relations with home minister Rajnath Singh and enjoys his “complete trust”.

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