New Delhi [India], April 1 (ANI): In a major step taken after decades, the Centre on Friday reduced disturbed areas under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur; and kept it effective in a few districts and areas falling within the jurisdiction of some police stations in these states for next six months.
In a gazette notification, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that the AFSPA will be effective in nine districts of Nagaland including Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek, Peren and Zunheboto; and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of 15 police stations comprising Khuzama, Kohima North, Kohima South, Zubza and Kezocha police stations in Kohima District; Mangkolemba, Mokokchung-I, Longtho, Tuli, Longchem and Anaki ‘C’ police stations in Mokokchung District; Yanglok police station in Longleng District; and Bhandari, Champang, Ralan and Sungro police stations in Wokha District.
As per the notifications, these nine districts in Nagaland and areas falling within the jurisdiction of 15 police stations in the state’s different districts are “declared as ‘disturbed area’ under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for a period of six months with effect from April 1, 2022, unless withdrawn earlier”.
By this step, the AFSPA has been removed from 15 police stations in seven districts in Nagaland with effect from Friday (April 1).
The disturbed area notification is in force in the whole of Nagaland since 1995. The Central government took the step after it accepted the recommendation of the committee constituted in this regard to remove AFSPA in a phased manner.
Similarly, the government of Assam in the exercise of powers conferred under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (Act 28 of 1958) withdrew the declaration of “Disturbed Area” with effect from Friday (April 1) from 23 districts and one sub-division of the state that include Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Hoyai, Morigaon, Kamrup Metro, Darrang, Kamrup, Nalbari, Barpeta, Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Dhubri, South Salmara Mancachar, Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa, Udaiguri, Karimganj, Hailakandi and Cachar district except for Lakhipur Sub-division.
Also, the government declared the areas covering nine districts and one sub-division comprising Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao and Lakhipur Sub Division of Cachar district of the state of Assam as “Disturbed Area” for a further period of six months with effect from Friday (April 1), unless withdrawn earlier.
The government said that the move was taken after a review of the law and order and security scenario in Assam in the recent past which indicates that the situation has considerably improved in many districts of the state and the presence of extremist elements are confined to only in certain parts of the State.
Disturbed area notification is in force in the whole of Assam since 1990.
The governor of Manipur has also accorded approval to declare the entire state of Manipur excluding the areas falling under the jurisdiction of 15 Police Stations as “Disturbed Area” for a period of six months with effect from April 1, 2022 (Friday) in the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (Act No.28 of 1958).
As per the order, AFSPA has been withdrawn from Imphal, Lamphel, City, Singjamei, Sekmai, Lamsang, Patsoi, Porompat, Heingang, Lamlai, Irilbun, Thoubal, Bishnupur, Kakchin and Jiribam police stations in Manipur.
The Disturbed Area Declaration in the entire Manipur (except the Imphal Municipality area) is in operation since 2004.
Besides, the disturbed area notification under AFSPA has been completely removed by the Modi government from Tripura in 2015 and Meghalaya in 2018 due to improvements in the security situation.
The AFSPA empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. In 2005, the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee had recommended the repeal of AFSPA and suggested an amendment to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 by inserting a new Chapter with respect to the North-Eastern states. (ANI)
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