Changes in AFSPA

The Central Government has announced the reduction of areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the Northeast states of the country. The impacted states are Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur.

Overview:

  • In the year 1958, AFSPA was enacted with the aim of bringing the situation under control in all the conflict-hit areas of the country.
  • Under the AFSPA law, the armed forces are allowed to use any means that is deemed necessary to maintain public order in the states where AFSPA is applicable.
  • Under AFSPA, the Armed Forces can cause deaths, destroy structures that are being used as hideouts, training camps, or launch pads and also arrest anyone without having a warrant.

Changes in AFSPA

In Assam

In Assam, from 23 districts AFSPA will be removed while in one district it will be applied partially.

In Manipur

In the state of Manipur, from 15 police stations in 6 districts, the AFSPA jurisdiction will be removed

In Arunachal Pradesh

In this state, in only 3 districts AFSPA will be applicable along with the jurisdiction of two police stations in another district.

In Nagaland

From 15 police stations in 7 districts of Nagaland, the jurisdiction of AFSPA will be removed.

The demand to repeal AFSPA

The demand gained momentum in Nagaland after 6 coal mine laborers were killed by an ambush by security forces while they were returning to their village of Oting. In 2021, the security forces also opened fire on six civilians who were traveling in a truck in Nagaland after mistaking them to be terrorists of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN). The citizens then started protesting after being anguished by the loss and massive violence broke out.

Later, a five-member Committee was constituted by the Centre to look into the withdrawal of AFSPA law in the state of Nagaland. Home Minister Amit Shah also held key meetings with the respective Chief Ministers of the states.

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