HomeIndian DefenceAFSPA: AFSPA extended for 6 month in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland districts

AFSPA: AFSPA extended for 6 month in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland districts

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The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, under which an area is declared as “disturbed” for the convenience of security forces, has been extended in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh, eight districts of Nagaland and some other areas for six more months after a review of the law and order situation in these two northeastern states. The AFSPA gives armed forces personnel, operating in disturbed areas, sweeping powers to search, arrest and to open fire if they deem it necessary for “the maintenance of public order”.

An area or district is notified as a disturbed area under the AFSPA to facilitate the operations of the armed forces.

In a notification, the Union home ministry said the central government in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 had declared the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai, Mahadevpur and Chowkham police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Assam as “disturbed area” on September 26, 2023.

“And whereas a further review of the law and order situation in the state of Arunachal Pradesh has been undertaken. Now, therefore, Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai, Mahadevpur and Chowkham police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the State of Assam, are declared as ‘disturbed area’ under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for a period of six months with effect from 01.04.2024, unless withdrawn earlier,” the notification said.

In a separate notification, the home ministry also said that the central government in exercise of the powers conferred by AFSPA had declared eight districts and 21 police stations in five other districts of Nagaland as ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months with effect from October 1, 2023.

The home ministry said a further review of the law-and-order situation in Nagaland has been undertaken and after that a decision has been taken to declare as ‘disturbed area’ under the AFSPA for six more months in eight districts of the state and areas falling under 21 police stations. The districts where the imposition of ‘disturbed area’ under the AFSPA will continue are Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek and Peren districts. The police stations where the law will be applicable are: Khuzama, Kohima North, Kohima South, Zubza and Kezocha police stations in Kohima district; Mangkolemba, Mokokchung-I, Longtho, Tuli, Longchem and Anaki ‘C’ police stations in Mokokchung district; Yanglok police station in Longleng district; Bhandari, Champang and Ralan police stations in Wokha district; and Ghatashi, Pughoboto, Satakha, Suruhuto, Zunheboto and Aghunato police stations in Zunheboto district.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier said the AFSPA has been removed in 70 per cent areas in the northeastern states even though it is in force in Jammu and Kashmir.

On March 26, Shah had said the central government would consider revoking AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir.

There have been demands from various organisations and individuals in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states to revoke the AFSPA.

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