Manipur: AFSPA extended by a year
The government of Manipur has extended the “Disturbed Area” status in the state excluding the Imphal municipal areas from December 1 for one year.
The notification issued by the Home Department stated that the “Disturbed Area” tag was extended following approval by Najma Heptulla, the Governor of Manipur. The notification added, “In exercise of the power conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1985 as amended time to time, the Governor of Manipur hereby accords ex-post facto approval declared the entire state excluding Imphal Municipal areas with retrospective effect from December 1.”
Heptulla extended the status as the state is still in the grip of violence perpetrated by insurgent or extremist groups, the notification said. It added that the armed forces needed to remain deployed to help the civil administration to ensure peace and order.
The “Disturbed Area” status allows the application of the controversial AFSPA- Armed Forces Special Powers Act, thereby giving sweeping powers to the security forces deployed in Manipur. This Armed Act has been in force since 1980 and has been extended from time to time.
In August 2004, AFSPA was lifted from seven assembly seats of Imphal Municipal areas during the past Congress regime under Okram Ibobi Singh. This decision came in the time of massive protests after the murder and the alleged rape of Thangjam Manorama while in Assam Rifles custody.