The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday declared Nagaland a “disturbed area” for another six months, PTI reported. The government said that Nagaland is in a dangerous condition and use of armed forces in the state is necessary.
“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 1958) the central government hereby declares that whole of the said State to be a “disturbed area” for a period of six months with effect from 30th June, 2020, for the purpose of that Act,” the home ministry said in an order, according to the news agency.
The law has been in force in Nagaland for several decades now and was not withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, by Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah) General Secretary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 three districts and areas falling under the jurisdiction of four police stations in Arunachal Pradesh.
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.
Nagaland is also witnessing an increase in coronavirus cases. On Sunday, the government extended the lockdown in the state till July 15. Nagaland has reported 459 cases and no deaths so far.