The Assam government on Saturday extended the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in the state for another six months from August 28 without giving any reason, PTI reported.
In a statement, the Assam government declared the entire state as a “disturbed area” under the 1958 Armed Forces Act. It was first imposed in Assam in November 1990 and has been extended every six months since then after a review by the state government.
Saturday’s order is an extension of a notification issued in February through which the government had extended the imposition of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in the state till August.
The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act gives the military sweeping powers to search and arrest, and to open fire if they deem it necessary for “the maintenance of public order”, and to do so with a degree of immunity from prosecution.
The law, a legacy of the colonial administration, was meant to address emergencies in regions affected by conflict.
For the law to be imposed, an entire state or a part of the state would have to be declared a “disturbed area”. In Assam, after ethnic insurgencies broke out in the 1980s, “disturbed areas” were notified and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was imposed by the Centre.