#HIF7Explainer: Amit Shah hints at removing AFSPA from Nagaland, what is this controversial law?
Feb 21, 2023 at 08:16 pm
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Home Minister Amit Shah has said that he is hopeful that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) will be removed from Nagaland soon.
He said that talks are on for the Naga peace accord and the Prime Minister's initiative can bring peace to the state. He said this during a meeting in Nagaland.
There has been a demand in the north-eastern states to remove AFSPA for a long time. Let us know in detail about this law.
What is AFSPA law?
AFSPA stands for Armed Forces Special Protection Act. It was implemented by the British government to crush the movements of the revolutionaries. Under this special powers were given to the military forces.
After India's independence, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru decided to continue it considering the condition of the states. The present form of AFSPA was brought through an ordinance in 1958. AFSPA came into force in September, 1958 after the approval of the Parliament.
What are the special powers given to armed forces in AFSPA?
Military forces got many special rights in AFSPA. The biggest authority is that soldiers can use force and even fire on anyone who breaks the law. However, before doing so, it is necessary to give a warning.
In addition, military forces can arrest and search a person without a warrant. No case can be registered against the security forces without the approval of the central government.
Where is AFSPA implemented and what is its procedure?
In case of excessive activism of extremist elements in any area or dispute between different religious, racial, linguistic, regional groups, castes and communities, on the basis of the report of the governor of the concerned state, the center declares that area as 'disturbed' and imposes AFSPA. is implemented and central security forces are deployed.
The Governor is also required to issue a suitable notification in this regard in the Official Gazette.
When and where was AFSPA implemented?
The central government first implemented AFSPA in Assam and Manipur on September 11, 1958, to protect against separatism, violence and foreign invasions.
After this, in 1972, after some amendments, it was implemented in the entire Northeast including Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
Similarly, in 1983, the central government brought the AFSPA (Punjab and Chandigarh) ordinance and on October 6, 1983, it was implemented in both the places by giving it the form of law.
Is AFSPA applicable in Jammu and Kashmir also?
Terror in Jammu and Kashmir reached its peak in the 1990s. In view of this, the central government decided to pass a similar law, through which on July 5, 1990, the government implemented AFSPA in the whole of Jammu and Kashmir.
In which states is AFSPA applicable now?
Looking at the situation from time to time, the government removes or implements the AFSPA law from the violence-hit area. At present, this law is applicable in parts of Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland.
This law was withdrawn from Tripura in 2015 and Meghalaya in 2018. Earlier, it was removed from Punjab and Chandigarh in 1997 after being in force for 14 years.
Why is AFSPA opposed?
Various human rights organizations, separatists and political parties have been opposing AFSPA. They give the logic of violation of fundamental rights behind this.
In 2016, the Supreme Court had also said that the army cannot be given a "free hand" under Section 6.
In 2021, the United Nations also said that AFSPA has no place in a democracy and should be repealed.
Cases of its misuse lead to protests against it.
Famous cases of protest against AFSPA
The biggest name of opposition to AFSPA is Irom Sharmila. In 2000, 10 people were shot dead by the armed forces in Manipur. In protest against this incident, Irom Sharmila went on a hunger strike for 16 years.
Apart from this, Thangjam Manorama of Manipur was murdered after rape in 2004, which was blamed on army personnel. About 30 women protested naked against this incident.
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