New Delhi has extended the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh and eight areas bordering Assam for six months.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement said the decision to extend the law till March 31, 2019, was taken after a review of the law and order situation in these areas.
“A further review of the law and order situation in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh and in the areas falling within the jurisdiction of eight police stations in districts of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the state of Assam has been undertaken,” said a home ministry notification.
The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act gives the military sweeping powers to search and arrest, and to open fire if they deem it necessary for “the maintenance of public order”, and to do so with a degree of immunity from prosecution. The law, a legacy of the colonial administration, was meant to address emergencies in regions affected by conflict.
In September, the Assam government extended AFSPA in the entire state by six months. The state Home and Political Department on August 28 declared the whole state a “disturbed area”.