The Centre on Tuesday declared the entire Nagaland as “disturbed area” for a further period of six months till December-end. In a notification, the Home Ministry said the central government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.
“Now, therefore, in 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 whole of the said State to be a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months with effect from 30th June, 2020 for the purpose of that Act,” the home ministry said.
Nagaland has been under the coverage of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for almost six decades and it was not withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, by Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah) General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and government interlocutor R N Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The decision to maintain the status quo in Nagaland regarding coverage of AFSPA, a law slammed by many civil society groups as “draconian”, came amidst reports of deteriorating law and order situation there.
The AFSPA gives the armed forces sweeping powers to search and arrest, and to open fire if they deem it necessary for “the maintenance of public order”.