The Union government extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, (AFSPA) of 1958 in parts of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh for additional six months. According to Home Ministry officials, the decision to extend "disturbed area" status to the two northeastern states was taken following a review of the law and order situation.
Earlier on September 30, 2022, the central government had declared Changlang, Tirap and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas under the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the state of Assam as 'disturbed area'. Through the new MHA notification, one more police station area has been brought under the ambit of AFSPA.
Centre reviews law & order situation in Arunachal Pradesh
MHA said a further review of the law and order situation in Arunachal Pradesh has been undertaken. "Now, therefore, Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai, Mahadevpur and Chowkham police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the state of Assam, are declared as 'disturbed area' under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for a period of six months with effect from April 1, 2023, unless withdrawn earlier," the MHA notification said.
The Union Home Ministry further said the central government in the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the AFSPA, 1958 had declared nine districts and 16 police stations in four other districts of Nagaland as 'disturbed area' for a period of six months with effect from October 1, 2022. MHA said the disturbed area status will now be applicable in eight districts and 21 police station areas falling under five other districts.
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What is AFSPA?
It should be noted here that the AFSPA empowers security forces to arrest a person without a warrant, enter or search premises without a warrant, and perform other actions. It's an act to enable certain special powers to be conferred upon members of the armed forces in disturbed areas in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.