Thursday, 20 January 2022

Central government extends AFSPA in Nagaland for six more months

Central government extends AFSPA in Nagaland for six more months

On Thursday, 30th December 2021, the Union Home Ministry extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the whole of Nagaland for another six months.

In a statement, the Ministry said,

“the Central government believes that the area comprising the whole State of Nagaland is in such a dangerous and disturbing condition that the use of Armed forces in help of the civil power is necessary.”

It added that in the exercise of powers conferred under Section 4 of the Act, “the Central government at this moment declares that whole State of Nagaland to be ‘distressed area’ for a period with effect from 30th December 2021, for the said Act.”

The last time such an extension was made was on 30th June.

Central government extends AFSPA in Nagaland for six more months 1unsplash image

Read More: Nagaland government to write to Centre government on AFSPA repeal

The Act, which has been imposed in the northeast since 1958, gives unbridled powers to the armed forces and the CAPF deployed in “distressed areas” to kill anyone acting in breach of law, arrest and search any site without a warrant and protection from prosecution and legal suits without the Central government’s sanction.

Both State and Central governments have concurrent powers to issue a notification under Section 3 of the Act.

The Manipur government on 8th December issued a notification to extend the Act in the State, excluding the municipal areas of Imphal, for another year. The order said, “the Governor of Manipur believes that due to violent activities of various extremist/insurgent groups, the entire State of Manipur is in such a disturbed condition that the use of Armed Forces in aid of civil capability is necessary.”

Right from the 1980s, the notification extending the AFSPA in Manipur was issued by the Manipur government. Last 40 years, the Centre has not given any notice under the Act for Manipur.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on 26th December announced that the Union Home Ministry had constituted a committee to look into a withdrawal of the Act in Nagaland. The State had erupted in protests since 4th December when 13 civilians were killed in a botched operation by the Army near Opting in Mon district.

The Union Ministry issues “disturbed area” notification only for Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh in Tirap, Changlang, Longding, and areas under the Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations bordering Assam.

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