Published on: July 1, 2021

AFSPA

AFSPA

http://wargereavy.com/dissemination/ What is in news : AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) extended in Nagaland for another six months by Home ministry

quaveringly Armed Forces Special Powers Act

  • The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and it was approved by the President on September 11, 1958. It became known as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958.
  • The Act came into force in the context of increasing violence in the North-eastern States decades ago, which the State governments found difficult to control.
  • AFSPA gives armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”. They have the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area, can use force or even open fire after giving due warning if they feel a person is in contravention of the law.
  • If reasonable suspicion exists, the army can also arrest a person without a warrant; enter or search premises without a warrant; and ban the possession of firearms.

Disturbed Areas

  • A disturbed area is one which is declared by notification under Section 3 of the AFSPA. It can be invoked in places where the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.
  • An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.
  • The Central Government, or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs would usually enforce this Act where necessary, but there have been exceptions where the Centre decided to forego its power and leave the decision to the State governments.
  • Once declared ‘disturbed’, the region is maintained as disturbed for a period of three months straight, according to The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976. The government of the state can suggest whether the Act is required in the state or not.

History of Nagaland Insurgency

  • The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India.
  • In 1946 Naga National Council (NNC) was formed under the leadership of Angami Zapu Phizo. It declared Nagaland “an independent state” on August 14, 1947.
  • On March 22, 1952, Phizo formed the underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA).
  • The Government of India sent in the Army to deal with insurgency and, in 1958, Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was enacted.
  • The Naga Hills, a district of Assam, was upgraded to a Nagaland state in 1963.
  • On November 11, 1975, the government got a section of NNC leaders to sign the Shillong Accord, under which this section of NNC agreed to give up arms.
  • A group of about 140 members led by Thuingaleng Muivah, who were at that time in China, refused to accept the Shillong Accord, and formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) in 1980.
  • In 1988, the NSCN split into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) after a violent clash. While the NNC began to fade away, the NSCN (IM) came to be seen as the “mother of all insurgencies” in the region.
  • NSCN (IM) seeks a “Greater Nagalim” comprising “all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas”, along with Nagaland. That included several districts of Assam, Arunachal and Manipur, as also a large tract of Myanmar