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Tags Current Affairs

AFSPA extended in Nagaland

Date: 03 January 2022 Tags: Bills & Laws

Issue

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) has been extended in the whole of Nagaland for another six months by the Union Home Ministry.

 

Background

There has been growing demand from civilian and political sections to completely scrap the controversial law in Nagaland.

 

Details

  • The Home Ministry in its notification says that the Nagaland is in disturbed and dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.

  • Under Section 4 of the Act, the centre decided to impose the law. The Central and State governments have concurrent powers to issue a notification under Section 3 of the Act.

 

Notification by Home Ministry

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

  • The “disturbed area” order was issued by Home Ministry till 2017 in Assam. After that, the state has been renewing the notification every six months.

 

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA)

  • The AFSPA is a Parliamentary law that was legislated in 1958 to give special powers to the Indian Armed Forces to maintain public order in "disturbed areas".

  • The area has to maintain status quo for a minimum of 6 months after being notified as disturbed.

  • It currently is applicable in the states of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur {excluding Imphal Municipal Council Area}, Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

  • A similar act passed in 1990 is applied to Jammu and Kashmir and has been in force since.

 

Reasons for AFSPA

  • Failure of the administration and the local police to tackle local issues related to security.

  • The scale of unrest or instability in the state is too large for local forces to handle and needs specialised units.

 

Provisions

  • Fire upon or use other kinds of force even if it causes death

  • Destroy any arms dump, hide-outs, prepared or fortified position or shelter or training camp

  • To arrest without a warrant anyone who has committed cognizable offences

  • To enter and search any premise in order to make such arrests

  • Stop and search any vehicle

  • Army officers have legal immunity for their actions

  • Protection of persons acting in good faith under this act from prosecution

 

Criticism

  • There are alleged concerns about human rights violations in the regions of its enforcement. Forces have been accused for violating their boundaries.

  • Many UN treaty bodies have considered it to be in violation of International Law as well.

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