NEW DELHI: The Centre has declared Nagaland a “disturbed area” for six more months, till Juneend, under the controversial AFSPA, which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without prior notice. The Union Home Ministry has issued a notification saying 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 civilian power is necessary.
The notification reads, “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 December 2018, for the purpose of that Act.”
A home ministry official said the decision to continue the declaration of Nagaland as a “disturbed area” was taken in view of killings, loot and extortion taking place in several parts of the state.
The official said the notification was necessary for the convenience of security personnel posted for maintenance of law and order in the state.
Time and again, several organisations in the north-east as well as in Jammu and Kashmir have demanded repealing of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which, they say, gives “sweeping powers” to security forces. The AFSPA has been in force in Nagaland for decades. It has not been withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, by Thuingaleng Muivah, general secretary of Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM, and a government interlocutor.