Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)

Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)

Recently the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) has been extended for six months in four states.

  • AFSPA has been continued in parts of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh due to uncertainty over the outcome of the Naga peace process.
  • Earlier, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and state governments had reduced the number of “disturbed areas” in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.
  • Apart from the above states, AFSPA is also applicable in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • Under the AFSPA, the armed forces are given special powers to restore law and order in disturbed areas.
  • An area is declared as a ‘disturbed area’ under section 3 of the AFSPA Act, 1958. An area to be declared as a ‘disturbed area’ is conferred on the Governor of the state or the Administrator of the Union Territory or the Central Government. The entire area or a part of it can be declared as disturbed by notification in the official gazette.
  • A disturbed area is declared by the governor of the state/administrator of the union territory or the central government.
  • Under Section 4 of the AFSPA Act, the Armed Forces are conferred with “extraordinary powers to restore order in disturbed areas.” Also, Section 6 provides for immunity to the Armed Forces from actions in this regard.
  • Tripura repealed the Act in the year 2015. At the same time, the Ministry of Home Affairs in the year 2018 withdrew AFSPA from Meghalaya, where it was in force for 27 years.

Source – The Hindu

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