New Delhi: On March 24, the Union Home Ministry extended “disturbed area” status under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, in parts of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh for six months.
The action was taken following a review of the law and order situation in both States by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The AFSPA empowers security forces to arrest a person without a warrant, enter or search premises without a warrant, and perform other actions.
According to the MHA notification, the Changlang, Tirap, and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh, as well as the areas under the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the state of Assam as ‘disturbed area’ on September 30, 2022, in accordance with the authority granted by Section 3 of the AFSPA 1958.
One more police station area has been brought under the ambit of AFSPA through the new notification.
The law and order situation in Arunachal Pradesh has reportedly been further reviewed, according to MHA.
The MHA notification said, “Now, therefore, Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai, Mahadevpur and Chowkham police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the state of Assam, are declared as ‘disturbed area’ under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for a period of six months with effect from April 1, 2023, unless withdrawn earlier”.
The Union Home Ministry further said the Central Government, in the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the AFSPA, 1958, had declared nine districts and 16 police stations in four other districts of Nagaland as ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months with effect from October 1, 2022.
The disturbed area status will now be applicable in eight districts and 21 police station areas that are part of five additional districts, according to MHA.
“And whereas a further review of the law and order situation in the state of Nagaland has been undertaken. Now, therefore, Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek and Peren districts in Nagaland and the areas in Nagaland falling within the jurisdiction of i) Khuzama, Kohima North, Kohima South, Zubza and Kezocha police stations in Kohima District; ii) Mangkolemba, Mokokchung-I, Longtho, Tuli, Longchem and Anaki ‘C’ police stations in Mokokchung District; iii) Yanglok police station in Longleng District; iv) Bhandari, Champang and Ralan police stations in Wokha District; and v) Ghatashi, Pughoboto, Satakha, Suruhuto, Zunheboto and Aghunato police stations in Zunheboto District, are declared as ‘disturbed area’ under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for a period of six months with effect from April 1, 2023, unless withdrawn earlier,” the notification said.