Thursday, April 18, 2024

MHA extends AFSPA in parts of Arunachal and Nagaland for 6 more months


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New Delhi/Kohima/Itanagar, March 28:  The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in certain districts of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh for another six months with effect from April 1, officials said on Thursday.

A Nagaland government official, quoting the MHA notification, said that the AFSPA was extended in 8 districts – Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek, and Peren – and 21 police station areas in five other districts of Nagaland, which has 16 districts.

Another MHA notification said that the AFSPA has been extended for another six months in Tirap, Changlang, and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh as well as areas under the jurisdiction of Namsai, Mahadevpur, and Chowkham police stations in Namsai district, bordering Assam.

The official said that the Centre took the step following a review of the law and order situation in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

The AFSPA empowers the Army, para-military, and other security forces to arrest a person without a warrant, enter or search premises without a warrant, along with some other actions.

With the improvement in the security situation in the northeastern states, the Centre, in April 2022, reduced the number of disturbed areas under AFSPA in many areas of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur.

It was lifted from Tripura in 2015, Meghalaya in 2018 and Mizoram in the 1980s.

Many political parties, NGOs, and civil society organisations in the northeastern region have been demanding its complete repeal. The demand intensified after security forces killed 14 people and injured 30 others in Nagaland’s Mon district in December 2021 in a case of “mistaken identity”.



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