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Tags Current Affairs

Removing AFSPA from north-east

Date: 18 May 2022 Tags: Bills & Laws

Issue

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has said that AFSPA may be soon removed from north-east as law and order situation has improved in the region

 

Background

The government had partially lifted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 from several parts of the region.
 

Details

  • The AFSPA law has the mandate to give sweeping powers to security forces involved in anti-insurgency operations.

  • The law has variations in the form of AFSPA (Assam and Manipur), 1958; AFSPA (Punjab and Chandigarh), 1983; and AFSPA (Jammu and Kashmir), 1990.

 

Powers under AFSPA

  • The law grants the military sweeping powers of arrest, the right to shoot to kill, and to occupy or destroy property in counterinsurgency operations.

  • Stopping and searching any vehicle or vessel reasonably suspected to be carrying such person or weapons.

  • Person acting under good faith for implementing the law will be protected from prosecution, suit or other legal proceedings, except with the sanction of the Central Government.

  • Arresting without a warrant anyone who has committed cognizable offences or is reasonably suspected of having done so.

 

Current situation in north-east

  • AFSPA is currently in force in parts of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir also has the law.

  • Insurgency has been reduced by 80% in the north-eastern states since the last eight years and casualty of armed forces has seen a slump by 75%.

 

Criticism of AFSPA

  • Human rights activists have dubbed AFSPA as a draconian law. They have demanded repealing of the legislation.

  • There are reports of atrocities and excess committed by armed forces against the civilians under the protection of the law.

  • The existence of AFSPA law may act as hindrance in achieving success in Naga peace accord, which is pending since many years.

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