Centre decides to decrease 'disturbed areas' under AFSPA in the three Northeastern states.
The Centre has decided to decrease the disturbed areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) Act, 1958 in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur in the Northeast from April.
Union Home Minister, Amit Shah said, the decision had been taken in view of the significant improvement in the security situation in North-East India.
"A historic day for the Northeast! PM @narendramodi led GoI has once again decided to decrease the disturbed areas in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur under the AFSPA. This decision has been taken on account of significant improvement in the security situation in North-East India," tweeted Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday.
The Home Ministry said that compared to the year 2014, there is a reduction of 76 percent in extremist incidents in 2022. The deaths of security personnel have come down by 90 percent and the deaths of civilians have come down by 97 percent during this period.
Earlier, in a historic move, the Government of India had reduced disturbed areas under AFSPA in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur from April 2022.
Taking another important decision this year, disturbed areas under AFSPA in these three states are being further reduced again from 1st April this year.
Under the leadership of Home Minister Amit Shah and PM Modi's vision of a peaceful and prosperous North-East, several peace accords were implemented in the North-Eastern states in the last four years.
As a result of which, most of the extremist groups have laid down their arms and become partners in the peace and development of the North East. Around seven thousand insurgents have surrendered from 2014 till now.
During the last four years, the Ministry of Home Affairs has signed several historic agreements which have resolved decades-old problems, including The Bodo Accord of January 2020 and The Karbi-Anglong Agreement of September 2021.
According to the official press release by the Ministry of Home Affairs, AFSPA was completely withdrawn from Tripura in 2015 and Meghalaya in 2018 due to improvement in the security situation.
The Disturbed Areas Notification has been in force since 1990 in the whole of Assam. From April 01, 2022 AFSPA was removed from the entire state of Assam except 9 districts and one sub-division of another district.
From April 1, 2023, the districts under the AFSPA in Assam will be further reduced to eight districts as the AFSPA has been withdrawn from the Lakhipur subdivision of the Cachar district.
In Manipur (except Imphal Municipality area), the Disturbed area declaration under AFSPA was in operation since 2004.
15 police station areas of 6 districts were taken out of the disturbed area notification from April 1, 2022, and now from April 1, 2023, the disturbed area notification under AFSPA is being withdrawn from 4 other police station.
Thus, 19 police stations in 7 districts of Manipur have been removed from the disturbed area notification under AFSPA.
While in another notification, the MHA had declared one more police station area, Chowkham as disturbed area, therefore, the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai, Mahadevpur and Chowkham police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the State of Assam declared as ‘disturbed area’ under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for a period of six months with effect from April 1, 2023.
In Nagaland, the ‘Disturbed Area’ notification was applicable in the whole of Nagaland since 1995 but after the recommendation of the committee constituted in this context to remove the AFSPA in a phased manner, the ‘Disturbed Area’ notification was withdrawn from 15 police stations of seven districts from April 1, 2022. And now, with effect from April 1, 2023, it is being withdrawn three other police stations, therefore, a total of 18 police stations in eight districts of Nagaland are being removed from the disturbed area notification under AFSPA.
Furthermore, now in the whole of Nagaland, the disturbed area will be applicable to eight districts and 21 police stations in five other districts of Nagaland for another six months, which were earlier 9 districts and 16 Police Stations in 4 other districts.
Both the State and Central governments can issue notifications related to the AFSPA. The MHA currently issues periodic ‘Disturbed Area’ notifications to extend the AFSPA only for the Northeastern states of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh while the notifications for Manipur and Assam are issued by the respective State Governments.
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