Guwahati: The Assam government Thursday said it has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in eight districts and one sub-division for six months after a review of the law and order situation.
The government, however, withdrew the controversial law from West Karbi Anglong district as the situation there has “considerably improved”.
The six month extension of AFSPA is effective from October 1, Home and Political Department Principal Secretary Niraj Verma said in an order. The order dated October 15 and released on Thursday stated that nine districts and one sub-division were kept under the AFSPA since April 1 as “disturbed area” after withdrawing the legislation from the rest of the state.
“A review of the law and order and security scenario in Assam in the recent past indicates that the situation has considerably improved in West Karbi Anglong district of the state … The Governor of Assam is pleased to withdraw the declaration of ‘Disturbed Area’ with effect from 01.10.2022 from West Karbi Anglong,” the order said.
Districts which continue to be disturbed areas are Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao besides Lakhipur sub-division of Cachar in the Barak Valley.
The act was imposed in Assam in November 1990 and has been extended every six months since then after a review of the situation by the state government.
AFSPA allows security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. It also gives a certain level of immunity to the security forces in case of an operation going wrong.
Civil society groups and rights activists have been demanding withdrawal of the “draconian law” from the entire North East claiming violation of human rights by the armed forces.
The cry to repeal the act gained momentum after the death of 14 civilians in firing by security forces in a botched anti-insurgency operation and retaliatory violence in Mon district of Nagaland on December 4, 2021.
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