Assam Imposes AFSPA in 8 Districts and 1 subdivision

Guwahati: The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in eight districts and one sub-division of Assam has been extended for six months after a review of the law-and-order circumstance, the Assam government said on Thursday.

The government, however, pulled out the controversial law from West Karbi Anglong district as the situation there has significantly improved.

The six-month expansion of AFSPA is compelling from October 1, Home and Political Department Principal Secretary Niraj Verma said in an order. The order dated October 15 and released on Thursday stated that nine districts and one sub-division were kept under the AFSPA since April 1 as disturbed regions after withdrawing the regulation from the rest of the state.

“A review of the law and order and security scenario in Assam in the recent past indicates that the situation has considerably improved in West Karbi Anglong district of the state … The Governor of Assam is pleased to withdraw the declaration of ‘Disturbed Area’ with effect from 01.10.2022 from West Karbi Anglong,” the order said.

Districts that keep on being disturbed areas are Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, and Dima Hasao besides Lakhipur sub-division of Cachar in the Barak Valley.

The act was forced in Assam in November 1990 and has been extended every six months since then after a review of the circumstance by the state government.

AFSPA permits security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any earlier warrant. It also gives a certain level of immunity to the security forces in case of an operation goes wrong.

Civil society groups and rights activists have been demanding the withdrawal of the draconian law from the entire Northeast claiming infringement of human rights by the armed forces.

The request to cancel the act gained momentum after the death of 14 citizens in firing by security forces in a messed up anti-insurgency operation and retaliatory violence in the Mon district of Nagaland on December 4, 2021.

By Archana

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