Context:- Centre has decided to further reduce the jurisdiction of ‘disturbed areas’ under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.
An overview of the news
- The decision has been taken in view of the significant
improvement in the security situation in North-East India.
- Compared to 2014, there has been a 76 percent reduction in extremist incidents in 2022.
- During this period, there has been a 90 percent reduction in the deaths of security personnel and 97 percent in the deaths of civilians.
- Earlier, in a historic move, the Center brought down the disturbed areas in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur from April 2022 under AFSPA.
What is AFSPA?
- Armed Forces Special Powers Act, (AFSPA), 1958, gives armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas.”
- It came into force decades ago in the context of insurgency in the northeastern states.
- It provides “special powers” to the army, air force and central paramilitary forces.
- The Act provides that if “reasonable suspicion exists“, the armed forces may also arrest any person without warrant; May enter or search premises without warrant and prohibit possession of firearms.
What are the Disturbed Areas?
- A disturbed area means which is declared by notification under Section 3 of the AFSPA.
- A region may be disturbed because of differences or disputes between members of different, racial, religious, language or regional groups or castes or communities.
- The Central Government or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory have power to declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area.