The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday declared Nagaland as a “disturbed area” for six more months under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, reported ANI. The extension is a routine affair as the state has been under AFSPA for almost six decades. The last such extension from the Centre was on June 30.
“The Central government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of the 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 home ministry said in a release.
The AFSPA has not been withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, by Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah) General Secretary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.