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Home Ministry Declares Nagaland 'Disturbed', Extends AFSPA For Six Months

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| December 31 , 2018 , 18:36 IST

The home ministry extended the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland for six more months, till July 2019, on Monday.

In a notification, the ministry asserted that the whole state is in such “disturbed and dangerous condition” that the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary.

Under AFSPA, security forces have the powers to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior notice.

"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," the notification said.

According to media reports, a Home Ministry official said, "the declaration of Nagaland as “disturbed area” has been taken as killings, loot and extortion have been going on in various parts of the state which necessitated the action for the convenience of the security forces operating there.”

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There had been demands from various organisations in the Northeast as well as in Jammu and Kashmir for repealing the controversial Armed Forces Act (AFSPA), which, they say, gives "sweeping powers" to security forces.

The AFSPA had been in force in Nagaland for several decades. It had not been withdrawn even after a framework agreement.

which 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.