The AFSPA allows the Army and other paramilitary forces to conduct raids, and arrest anyone anywhere without prior notice or arrest warrant.
The Assam government on Wednesday extended the existing ‘disturbed area’ status of the state for another six months from February 27 under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) with the state assembly elections is close at hand.
It is to be noted that the officials did not state any particular reason for the extension. However, sources close to PTI has stated that the order was issued in view of the assembly elections due in April-May and recovery of arms and ammunitions from some parts of the state.
“As per powers conferred under section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, the Governor of Assam has declared the entire state of Assam as ‘disturbed area’ upto 6 (six) months beyond 27/02/2021, unless withdrawn earlier,” the official release stated.
The AFSPA, which allows the Army and other paramilitary forces to conduct raids, and arrest anyone anywhere without prior notice or arrest warrant, has been in force in Assam since November 1990.
Security agencies and senior officials review the situation every six months to decide on its extension.
“The unified command structure comprising the Army, various central paramilitary and intelligence agencies and Assam Police always closely monitor the situations and terror activities in Assam,” the official said.
The AFSPA is also in force in entire Nagaland, certain districts of Arunachal Pradesh, and most parts of Manipur barring the Imphal municipal areas.
Terming the AFSPA as a “draconian law”, renowned human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila of Manipur had fought for 16 long years till mid-2016, demanding its repeal.
Tripura is the only state in the northeast region where the AFSPA was withdrawn by the then Left Front government led by Communist Party of India-Marxist veteran and Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in 1998 after terror activities were tamed.