The Union home ministry on Friday extended for six months the “disturbed area” status of parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, PTI reported. The order will come into effect from October 1.

AFSPA gives Army personnel in disturbed areas sweeping powers to search, arrest, and to open fire if they deem it necessary for “the maintenance of public order”.

After Friday’s order, AFSPA will remain in effect for six more months in nine districts of Nagaland and areas falling under 16 police stations in four other districts, PTI reported, citing a home ministry notification.

Meanwhile, in Arunachal Pradesh the provisions will remain applicable in the three districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding and areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district.

There are a total of 16 districts in Nagaland and 26 in Arunachal Pradesh.

In March, the Union government had reduced the number of areas which fall under the ambit of the AFSPA in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur. The areas which are no longer under AFSPA since April 1 are:

  • Twenty-three districts of Assam and partial removal from one district. There are a total of 33 districts in Assam.
  • Fifteen police station jurisdictions in six of the 16 districts of Manipur. Earlier, the entire state, except the municipal limits of the capital city Imphal, was classified as disturbed area.
  • Fifteen police station jurisdictions in seven out of 15 districts in Nagaland. The entire state had been classified as disturbed area since 1995.