‘Disturbed area’ application in Nagaland, Arunachal to continue for 6 more months

NEW DELHI, 1 Oct: The application of the ‘disturbed area’ under the AFSPA has been extended by six months in 12 districts of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh and some parts of five other districts of the two states to facilitate anti-insurgency operations, the Centre said on Friday.

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 empowers

security forces to conduct operations and arrest anyone without any prior warrant, besides giving immunity from arrest and prosecution to the security forces if they shoot someone dead.

According to a notification issued by the union home ministry, the AFSPA will be extended for six months, beginning 1 October, in nine districts – Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek, Peren and Zunheboto – and 16 police stations in four other districts – Kohima, Mokokchung, Longleng and Wokha – of Nagaland.

In a separate notification, the ministry said the application of the ‘disturbed area’ under the AFSPA will continue for six more months from Saturday in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Assam.

While Nagaland has a total 16 districts, Arunachal Pradesh has 26.

The reduction of jurisdiction of the AFSPA came in April, following the recommendation of a high-level committee constituted to examine the possibility of lifting the AFSPA after the killing of 14 civilians by the army in Nagaland’s Mon district in December 2021 in a case of “mistaken identity.”

The AFSPA was completely withdrawn in Tripura in 2015, in Meghalaya in 2018, and in Mizoram in the 1980s.

The ‘disturbed area’ was also partially withdrawn in Manipur and Assam too.

There have been protests and demands for the complete withdrawal of the law from the Northeast as well as Jammu & Kashmir for its alleged ‘draconian’ provisions. (PTI)