Meghalaya Current Affairs

President appoints governors for 5 states

President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Governors in five states viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Meghalaya. Lieutenant Governor for Andaman and Nicobar Islands was also appointed. The appointments will come into effect from the date incumbents assume charge of new posts.

Appointed Governors are

Brigadier (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd): He was appointed as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. He was Commander of NSG (Black Cat Commandos) and was instrumental in successful rescue operation during Indian Airlines plane hijacking at Amritsar in 1993. He has served in China war (1962), Bangladesh liberation operations (1971) and in LTTE operations in Sri Lanka (1987-88). He also volunteered for the Kargil war after retirement.

Satya Pal Malik: He was appointed as Governor of Bihar. He had held the profile of MoS, Parliamentary Affairs and Tourism brief period of six months in 1990. He was twice elected as member of Rajya Sabha and once of Lok Sabha. He was a member of Uttar Pradesh Assembly in 1970s.

Banwarilal Purohit: He was appointed as Governor of Tamil Nadu. Prior to this appointment, he was Governor of Assam. He is a veteran political leader from Vidarbha.

Prof Jagdish Mukhi: He was appointed as Governor of Assam. Previously, he was Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicabar islands. Previously, he had held various profiles in Delhi Government such as Finance, Plannes, Excise & Taxation and Higher Education. In Delhi Assembly, he led Opposition for almost 10 ten years.

Ganga Prasad: He was appointed as the Governor of Meghalaya. He was an MLC in Bihar for 18 years. He led the Opposition as MLC for five years.

Devendra Kumar Joshi: He was appointed as Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar islands.  He had served as Chief of Naval Staff from August 2012 to February 2014. He also had served as Defence Adviser at Indian High Commission in Singapore from 1996-99.

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Entire Assam declared as ‘disturbed’ area under AFSPA for another month

The Union Home Ministry has declared entire Assam state as a disturbed area under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act for one more month, citing various violent activities by insurgent groups ULFA, NDFB, and others.

The Home Ministry also declared 20 km belt along Meghalaya’s border areas adjoining Assam and three districts in Arunachal Pradesh (Tirap, Changlang and Longding) as disturbed under the AFSPA for two more months.

Background

AFSPA has been continuing in Assam since November 1990. In 2016, there were 75 incidents of violence reported in Assam in which 33 people, including four security personnel, were killed and 14 others were abducted. The violence was perpetrated in Assam by insurgent groups like ULFA, NDFB and others. Similarly, continuing violence perpetrated by NSCN(K), NSCN(IM), ULFA, NDFB, and others were key reasons for continuing with AFSPA in Arunachal Pradesh. Meghalaya too has witnessed violence by ULFA, NDFB militants in the recent past.

About Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act

The AFSPA was enacted by the parliament in 1958. It grants extra-ordinary powers and immunity to the armed forces to bring back order in the disturbed areas. Some of these extra-ordinary powers include fire upon anyone after giving warning who is acting against law & order in the disturbed area, arrest anyone without warrant, stop and search any vehicle or vessel, legal immunity to armed forces personnel for their actions.

Note: Presently AFSPA is enforced in the 6 states of North East (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland) and Jammu and Kashmir. It was lifted in Tripura in May 2015.

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