NEW DELHI: The entire state of Nagaland has been declared a "disturbed area" for six more months, till December-end, under the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant.
In a notification, the Union Home Ministry said Wednesday the 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.
"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 state of Nagaland to be 'disturbed area' for a period of six months with effect from 30th June, 2021 for the purpose of the said Act," the notification, issued by Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry Piyush Goyal, said.
Official sources said the decision has been taken as killings, loots and extortion cases have been going on in various parts of the state which necessitated the action for the convenience of the security forces operating there. The AFSPA has been in force in Nagaland for decades.
It was not withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 between Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and government interlocutor R N Ravi in the 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. However, there has been no progress in the peace talks as the NSCN-IM has sought a separate flag and constitution for Nagaland, which was rejected by the Central government.