The Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday extended the operation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Nagaland for another six months, declaring the state to be a “disturbed area”.

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.

“Whereas the central government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of 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,” the ministry said in a notification.

An unidentified Home Ministry official said told PTI that operation of the Act was extended in the state as killings, loot and extortion have continued in the state.

The Act has been in force in Nagaland for several decades now and was not withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 by Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and government interlocutor RN Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It also remains in force in Assam, most of Manipur, and eight police stations of Arunachal Pradesh.