AFSPA extended to 6 months in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh

Tags: National National News

The Central Government has extended the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) for another 6 months in the disturbed areas of 12 districts of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

Important facts

  • According to the notice issued by the Union Home Ministry, AFSPA will be fully implemented in 3 districts of Arunachal and 9 districts of Nagaland.

  • Nagaland’s nine districts where AFSPA will be implemented from October 1 - Dimapur, Niuland, Chumukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek, Peren and Zunheboto - and 16 police stations in four other districts - Kohima, Mokokchung, Longleng and Wokha.

  • In Arunachal Pradesh, AFSPA will be applicable in three districts - Tirap, Changlang and Longding and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district.

  • Nagaland has 16 districts, Arunachal Pradesh has 26.

These areas of the states were removed from AFSPA

  • AFSPA was completely withdrawn in Tripura in 2015, Meghalaya in 2018 and Mizoram in the 1980s.

  • Due to the improvement in the security situation, AFSPA was removed completely in 23 districts of Assam and partially in one district with effect from April 1, 2022.

What is AFSPA?

  • Armed Forces Special Powers Act, (AFSPA),1958, gives armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas.”

  • It came into force decades ago in the context of insurgency in the northeastern states.

  • It provides "special powers" to the army, air force and central paramilitary forces.

  • The Act provides that if "reasonable suspicion exists", the armed forces may also arrest any person without warrant; May enter or search premises without warrant and prohibit possession of firearms.

What are the Disturbed Areas?

  • A disturbed area means which is declared by notification under Section 3 of the AFSPA.

  • A region may be disturbed because of differences or disputes between members of different, racial, religious, language or regional groups or castes or communities.

  • The Central Government or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory have power to declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area.

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