AFSPA
Representative image.

Guwahati: Assam has further extended the existing “disturbed area” status of the state for another six months from February 28 under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

After reviewing the law and order situation in Assam in the past six months the state government has declared the entire State of Assam as a “Disturbed Area” up to 6 (six) months with effect from 28/02/2022 unless withdrawn earlier,” said a statement.

The declaration has been made as per powers conferred under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, it said.

The government statement did not cite any specific reason for the extension.

The AFSPA was first imposed in Assam in November 1990 and has been extended every six months since then after review by the state government.

In 1990, AFSPA came into force in Assam due to the heavy insurgency activities that killed many people. Kidnapping and extortion were common during those days. Security forces conducted major operations against the groups in those days to neutralize the rebel outfit. 

In the Northeast, the AFSPA is in force in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (excluding Imphal Municipal Council Area), Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh, and areas falling within the jurisdiction of the eight police stations of districts in Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam.

Civil society groups and rights activists in the region have been demanding withdrawal of the allegedly “draconian” law.

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