Centre Extends Armed Forces Special Powers Act In 3 Districts Of Arunachal Pradesh

| October 4 , 2018 , 09:23 IST

The Centre has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in 3 districts of Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday for a period of 6 months, as well as in the areas within the jurisdiction of the state’s eight police stations bordering Assam, notifying them as 'disturbed areas'.

According to the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, AFSPA has been extended up to March 31, 2019 in the Arunachal Pradesh districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding and 8 police stations bordering Assam.

“Now, therefore, Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of the following eight police stations in the districts of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the State of Assam, are declared as ‘disturbed area’ under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 up to March 31, 2019 w.e.f. October 1, 2018, unless withdrawn earlier,” the notification said.

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The 3 concerned districts of Arunachal Pradesh, all bordering Myanmar, have been under the AFSPA since January 2016 and. A Home Ministry official said that the decision to extend the AFSPA was taken after a review of law and order situation in the 3 districts and 8 police stations.

The 8 police stations referred to in the notification are Balemu and Bhalukpong in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Kameng district, Seijosa in East Kameng district, Balijan in Papumpare district, Namsai and Mahadevpur in Namsai district, Roing in Lower Dibang Valley district and Sunpura in Lohit district.

As per the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, the security forces including the Army and Central Forces, are granted special rights and immunity in carrying out various operations in "disturbed" areas. The security forces have the right to kill anyone acting in contravention of the law, arrest and search any premises without a warrant and without facing persecution or legal suits unless with the approval of the Central government.

AFSPA is currently effective in the entire state of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur (except for seven Assembly constituencies). The act was withdrawn from withdrawn from Tripura in 2015.