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MHA extends AFSPA in Nagaland, Arunachal for 6 more months

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Guwahati, March 25: The Central government has extended the application of the “disturbed area” under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 — known as AFSPA — in parts of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh for another six more months.

Quoting Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), officials in Kohima on Saturday said the decision have been taken after review of the law-and-order situation in both the bordering northeastern states.

In a notification, the MHA under the AFSPA had declared nine districts and 16 police stations in four districts of Nagaland as ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months.

In another notification, the home ministry declared Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the state of Assam, as ‘disturbed area’.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on March 31 last year announced reduction of the operation of AFSPA from April 1 in large parts of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur even as most of the political parties and NGOs in the region have been demanding its complete repeal.

The demand intensified after the security forces killed 14 people and injured 30 others in Mon district of Nagaland in December 2021 in a case of “mistaken identity”.

The AFSPA, which allows the Army and other central para-military forces to conduct raids, operations, arrest anyone anywhere without prior notice or arrest warrant, is in force in parts of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur barring the Imphal municipal council area and certain districts of Arunachal Pradesh. It was lifted from Tripura in 2015, in Meghalaya in 2018, and in Mizoram in 1980s.

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