On Tuesday, the Center declared the whole of Nagaland a “disturbed area” for a further six months until the end of December.
In a notification, the Ministry of the Interior declared that the central government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous state that the use of armed forces in favor of civil power is necessary.
“Consequently, now, in the exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 1958), the central government hereby declares that all said state is a “disturbed area”. “For a period of six months from June 30, 2020 for the purposes of this law,” said the Interior Minister.
Nagaland has been covered by the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for almost six decades and has not been withdrawn even after the signing of a framework agreement on August 3, 2015 by the insurgent group nagas National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah), Secretary General Thuingaleng Muivah and government representative RN Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The decision to maintain the status quo in Nagaland regarding coverage of AFSPA, a law described as “draconian” by many civil society groups, came amid reports of a deteriorating situation public order.
AFSPA gives the armed forces extensive powers to search and arrest, and to open fire if they deem it necessary for “maintaining public order”.
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