Govt extends AFSPA in parts of Arunachal and Nagaland for 6 months from Oct 1

Kohima/Itanagar: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, (AFSPA) in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland for another six months beginning from October 1.

The MHA in a notification said that the AFSPA has been extended for another six months in Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek and Peren districts in Nagaland and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Khuzama, Kohima North, Kohima South, Zubza and Kezocha police stations in the Kohima district.

The AFSPA also extended in Mangkolemba, Mokochung-I, Longtho, Tuli, Longchem and Anaki ‘C’ police stations in Mokokchung district, Yanglok police station in Longleng district, Bhandari, Champang and Ralan police stations in Wokha district, Ghatashi, Pughoboto, Satakha, Suruhuto, Zunheboto and Aghunato police stations in Zunheboto district of Nagaland.

In a separate notification, the MHA said that the Act, which allows the Army and other Central paramilitary forces to conduct raids and operations, and arrest anyone anywhere without prior notice or arrest warrant, also extended for another six months in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai, Mahadevpur and Chowkham police stations in Namsai district.

With the improvement in the security situation in the Northeast, in a historic move, the Central government from April 2022 reduced disturbed areas under AFSPA in many areas of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur.

It was lifted from Tripura in 2015, Meghalaya in 2018 and Mizoram in the 1980s.

Most of the political parties, many NGOs and civil society organisations in the northeastern 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”.