NEW DELHI: Nagaland has been declared a “disturbed area” for another six months, under the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without prior notice.
For several decades now, Nagaland has seen the presence of AFSPA. Various organisations in the Northeast and in J&K have repeatedly demanded repeal the Act which the groups say has given “sweeping powers” to security forces.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in a notification said the Centre was of the opinion that the state was in a “disturbed and dangerous condition” and the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power was 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 the whole of the said State to be a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months with effect from 30 June, 2019, for the purpose of that Act,” read the notification which was issued on Sunday.
This decision was necessary as killings, loot and extortion continue in different parts of the state and this is required for the convenience of the security forces operating there, said an MHA official.
AFSPA has not been withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, by Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and government interlocutor R N Ravi in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland.
(With PTI inputs)