The Narendra Modi government at the Center has decided to reduce the scope of disturbed areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the northeastern states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades. Union Home Minister Amit Shah gave this information on Thursday (31 March 2022) in three consecutive tweets. The Home Minister wrote, “An important decision has been taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After decades, the Government of India has decided to reduce the scope of disturbed areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur.
Government of India decides to reduce disturbed areas under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades: Union Home Minister Amit Shah pic.twitter.com/2WDCJmp9gI
— ANI (@ANI) March 31, 2022
He wrote, “The government’s efforts to bring peace in AFSPA areas have been helpful. Control of insurgency has also increased in these areas. The security situation and developments due to several agreements also helped to remove the law.” After this he (Amit Shah) in his last tweet thanking PM Modi writes, “Our Northeast region, which was neglected for decades because of PM Modi’s commitment, is now witnessing a new era of peace, prosperity and unprecedented development. is becoming I congratulate the people of the Northeast on this momentous occasion.
what is afspa
The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is enforced only in disturbed areas. This law was passed on 11 September 1958 for the convenience of the security forces in the Northeast. When terrorism started increasing in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989, AFSPA was implemented here in 1990. Which will be the disturbed areas, it is also decided by the central government. In simple words, understand the AFSPA Act like this. It is implemented in any state or any area only when the state or central government declares that area as a ‘disturbed area’ i.e. Disturbed Area Act. Army or armed forces are sent there only after the implementation of this law. As soon as the law comes into force, the army or armed force gets the right to take action against any suspicious person.
Nehru’s government also continued the law implemented during the British era.
This act was first implemented during the British era. At that time the British government had given special powers to the armed forces to crush the Quit India Movement. After independence, the government of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru also decided to continue with this law. Then in the year 1958, AFSPA was brought through an ordinance and after three months the ordinance got the approval of the Parliament. After this, AFSPA came into force as a law on 11 September 1958.
Rationale behind enforcing the law
The rationale behind the implementation of this law is that it is implemented in those areas, in which extremist activities keep happening. There are hideouts of many separatist insurgent organizations on both sides of the border between India and Myanmar. Apart from Nagaland, the People’s Liberation Army is active in Manipur, which keeps attacking the army. Similarly, separatist organizations are active in Jammu and Kashmir as well. The army was given special powers under the AFSPA to deal with these organizations and for the internal security of the country.
AFSPA law is applicable in these states
AFSPA was implemented in many parts of the country including Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir. But, from time to time, it is also removed in view of the circumstances. Irom Chanu Sharmila had fasted for 16 years against AFSFA in Manipur. In November 2000, ten people were shot dead by the armed forces near a bus stand opposite Irom Sharmila, popularly known as the Iron Lady. Opposing this incident, then 29-year-old Irom started a hunger strike, which lasted for 16 years. In August 2016, he decided to end the hunger strike and join politics and also contested elections, in which he got less votes than NOTA. It is said that he got only 90 votes, while 143 voters opted for NOTA.