Whole of Nagaland declared as ‘disturbed area’ by Centre to extend AFSPA for six more months

A notification to this effect has been issued and the same was published on the official Gazette on Tuesday. The AFSPA is operating in the state for more than six decades now

Whole of Nagaland declared as ‘disturbed area’ by Centre to extend AFSPA for six more months
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NH Web Desk

The Central Government has declared the whole of the State of Nagaland to be a 'disturbed area' to extend the operation of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act [AFSPA] in the state for a further period of six months with effect from 30th June, 2020.

A notification to this effect has been issued and the same was published on the official Gazette on Tuesday. In the notification, the Home Ministry opined that the area comprising the whole of State of Nagaland is in a disturbed and dangerous condition. Therefore, according to the Centre, the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary, LiveLaw.in has reported.

Section 3 of AFSPA provides that the Governor of that state or the administrator of that Union Territory or the Central Government, in either case, if of the opinion that the whole or any part of such state or Union territory, as the case may be, is in such a disturbed or dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary, the Governor of that state or the Administrator of that Union Territory or the Central Government, as the case may be, may by notification in the Official Gazette, declare the whole or such part of such State or Union territory to be a disturbed area.

Background

The AFSPA is operating in the state for more than six decades now. Section 5 of the Act provides the following wide powers to any commissioned officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned officer or any other person of equivalent rank in the armed forces:

  • If he is of opinion that it is necessary so to do for the maintenance of public order, after giving such due warning as he may consider necessary, fire upon or otherwise use force, even to the causing of death, against any person who is acting in contravention of any law or order for the time being in force in the disturbed area prohibiting the assembly of five or move persons or the carrying of weapons or of things capable of being used as weapons or of fire-arms, ammunition or explosive substances;
  • If he is of opinion that it is necessary so to do, destroy any arms dump, prepared or fortified position or shelter from which armed attacks are made or are likely to be made or are attempted to be made, or any structure used as a training camp for armed volunteers or utilized as a hide-out by armed gangs or absconders wanted for any offence;

  • Arrest, without warrant, any person who has committed a cognizable offence or against whom a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed or is about to commit a cognizable offence and may use such force as may be necessary to effect the arrest;
  • Enter and search without warrant any premises to make any such arrest as aforesaid or to recover any person believed to be wrongfully restrained or confined or any property reasonably suspected to be stolen property or any arms, ammunition or explosive substances believed to be unlawfully kept in such premises, and may for that purpose use such force as may be necessary.

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