On Thursday, December 30, 2021, the Union Home Ministry extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland for another six months.
The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland was extended for another six months by the Union Home Ministry on Thursday, December 30, 2021.
“The Central government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of the State of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary,” said the Ministry, in a notification.
It added that in the exercise of powers conferred under Section 4 of the Act, “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 2021, for the purpose of the said Act.”
On June 30, the last time such an extension was granted was.
The Act, which has been in effect in the northeast since 1958, gives the armed forces and Central Armed Police Forces deployed in "disturbed areas" unrestricted powers to kill anyone breaking the law, arrest and search anyone without a warrant, and protect them from prosecution and legal action without the approval of the Central government.
Under Section 3 of the Act, both the state and union governments have concurrent authority to issue a notification.
On December 8, the Manipur government issued a notification extending the Act for another year in the state, excluding the municipal boundaries of Imphal.
“The Governor of Manipur is of the opinion that due to violent activities of various extremist/insurgent groups, the entire State of Manipur is in such a disturbed condition that the use of Armed Forces in aid of civil power is necessary,” said the order.
The Manipur government has been issuing notifications extending the AFSPA in Manipur since the 1980s. The Centre has not issued a notification under the Act for Manipur in the recent 40 years.
On December 26, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that the Union Home Ministry had formed a commission to investigate the repeal of the Act in Nagaland. Since December 4, when 13 civilians were killed in a bungled Army operation near Oting in Mon district, the state has been engulfed in protests.
Only Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh's districts of Tirap, Changlang, Longding, and regions under the Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations bordering Assam receive "disturbed area" notifications from the Union Ministry.
In Assam's situation, the Union Ministry issued a "disturbed area" order that will last till 2017. The State has been renewing the notification every six months since then, with the most recent move taking place on September 10.