On Tuesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced the extension of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in parts of Nagaland andfor an additional six months.
This decision came following a thorough review of the prevailing law-and-order situation in both states. Two separate notifications were issued to formalize these extensions.
In the first gazette notification, it was stated that the Central Government, in the exercise of its authority under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (28 of 1958), had declared eight districts and 21 Police Stations in five other districts of Nagaland as 'disturbed areas' for a duration of six months, starting from April 1, 2023.
These areas include Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek, and Peren districts.
Additionally, the notification extended the 'disturbed area' designation to specific areas within the jurisdiction of various police stations in Nagaland.
These areas encompassed Khuzama, Kohima North, Kohima South, Zubza, and Kezocha police stations in Kohima District; Mangkolemba, Mokokchung-I, Longtho, Tuli, Longchem, and Anaki 'C' police stations in Mokokchung District; Yanglok police station in Longleng District; Bhandari, Champang, and Ralan police stations in Wokha District; and Ghatashi, Pughoboto, Satakha, Suruhuto, Zunheboto, and Aghunato police stations in Zunheboto District.
This extension would remain in effect for six months starting from October 1, 2023, unless withdrawn earlier.
The second notification concerned Arunachal Pradesh, where the Central Government, under the authority vested by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, had previously declared the Tirap, Changlang, and Longding districts as 'disturbed areas.'
These districts were situated in the northeastern state's border regions, particularly Namsai district, which shares its borders with The initial declaration had taken effect on March 24, 2023.
After conducting a comprehensive review of the law and order situation in Arunachal Pradesh, the MHA issued an extension for the Tirap, Changlang, and Longding districts.
Furthermore, the 'disturbed area' designation was extended to cover the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai, Mahadevpur, and Chowkham police stations in Namsai district, bordering Assam. This extension would be effective for six months, commencing on October 1, 2022, unless withdrawn earlier.
The grants special powers to the armed forces to maintain public order in areas declared as 'disturbed.'
These powers include the authority to arrest without a warrant, use force to the extent deemed necessary, and provide legal immunity to military personnel involved in operations in these areas.
The extension of AFSPA is typically based on assessments of the security situation in these regions, with the aim of ensuring the safety and stability of the affected areas.