Representational Image
Representational Image

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday extended Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland for another 6 months- till December 31, 2021. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) has been in force in Nagaland for several decades.

The last Nagaland was declared as 'a disturbed area' on December 30 enabling the continuation of the controversial AFSPA which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant.

The MHA had said in a notification that the central government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of Nagaland is in such a “disturbed and dangerous condition” that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.

“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 1958), the central government hereby declares that whole of the State of Nagaland to be ”disturbed area” for a period of six months with effect from 30th December 2020 for the purpose of the said Act,” the notification said.

There have been demands from various organisations in the Northeast as well as in Jammu and Kashmir for repealing the AFSPA, which, they allege, gives “sweeping powers” to security forces.

The AFSPA has not been withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 by Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and government interlocutor R N Ravi in te=he presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland.

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Free Press Journal