NEW DELHI: All districts of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam have been declared "Disturbed Areas" under the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as the government has found heightened militant activity there.
Under the order, which will be in force for one year, security forces will have sweeping powers in all these 12 out of 19 districts of the state.
The 12 districts include the highly sensitive Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts, where six banned militant groups like NDFB, NSCN and ULFA have their presence, according to a notification issued by the Union Home Ministry.
Following review of the security situation in Arunachal Pradesh, the Home Ministry has found that the law and order situation in all districts of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam has continued to be a "matter of concern due to violent incident by underground outfits", the notification said.
There is presence of NDFB-S, NSCN-IM, NSCN-K, ULFA-I, KLO, MPLF along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. Outfits like KYKL, UNLF, PLA and KCP are helping NDFB-S and ULFA-I and KLO for movement of men, material, infiltration and exfiltration, the notification says.
"The NDFB-S have now set up their general headquarters and training camp in Taga, Myanmar, and are reportedly contemplating to find out a new route for arms transhipment from Myanmar via Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The geographical terrain of Arunachal Pradesh puts the militants in advantageous position and is used by the underground outfits as their safe haven," it said.
"The left wing extremism is silently trying to infiltrate into the state as it is found to be mostly active in areas of Dhemaji and Tinsukia (both in Assam) bordering the Lower Dibang valley and Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh," the notification said.
Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,126 km border with China and 520 km border with Myanmar.
So far, only three Arunachal Pradesh districts -- Tirap, Changlang and Londing -- were declared "disturbed" besides areas falling within 20 kilometre wide belt in Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam.
The entire state of Assam continues to be a "disturbed area" with AFSPA in operation in entire state of Assam.