MHA extends AFSPA in Nagaland, Arunachal for 6 more months

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Kohima/Itanagar, Mar 25, 2023, IANS

The Central government has extended for another six more months the application of the "disturbed area" under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 -- known as AFSPA -- in parts of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, officials said on Saturday.

Quoting the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), officials in Kohima said that the decision had been taken after review of the law-and-order situation in both the bordering northeastern states.

In a notification, the MHA under the AFSPA had declared nine districts and 16 police stations in four other districts of Nagaland as 'disturbed area' for a period of six months.

In another notification, the Home Ministry declared Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the state of Assam as 'disturbed area'.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on March 31 last year announced the reduction of the operation of AFSPA from April 1 in large parts of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur, even as most of the political parties and NGOs in the region have been demanding its complete repeal.

The demand intensified after the security forces killed 14 people and injured 30 others in Mon district of Nagaland in December 2021 in a case of "mistaken identity".

The AFSPA, which allows the Army and other central para-military forces to conduct raids and operations, arrest anyone anywhere without prior notice or arrest warrant, was in force in Nagaland, Assam, Manipur barring the Imphal municipal council area and certain districts of Arunachal Pradesh. It was lifted from Tripura in 2015, in Meghalaya in 2018, and in Mizoram in the 1980s.