AFSPA Repealed From Meghalaya, Assam And Some Districts In Arunachal Pradesh

25 April 2018 10:17 AM GMT
AFSPA Repealed From Meghalaya, Assam And Some Districts In Arunachal Pradesh
Image Credit: Kiren Rijiju, India Today

On April 23, Ministry of Home Affairs revoked The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Meghalaya and Assam. It has also been reduced from 16 to eight police stations in Arunachal Pradesh.

The AFSPA had been in force in Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh for almost 27 years. Though removed from parts of Arunachal, it has been extended for six months in three districts – Tirap, Longding and Changlang – bordering Myanmar and Assam.

According to NDTV, the Home Ministry took this decision after there was a significant decrease in insurgency incidents, their report stating a 37% decline in the Northeast region. MHA also said that there was a 30% fall in casualties of the security forces and 23% reduction in civilian deaths since 2017.



The AFSPA had been deployed in ‘disturbed areas’. This Act gave the Armed Forces the authority to arrest or kill anyone violating the law and to arrest and search any property without a warrant.

Reportedly, these powers disguised as law have backfired far too often as soldiers misuse the ‘immunity’ given to them.

In 2015, the Tripura government had lifted AFSPA after 18 years.


Background

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act was implemented on May 22, 1958. The AFSPA is a 1942 British colonial law that was invoked to sabotage the Indian independence movement in the midst of the Second World War.

The northeast was then divided into separate states to put up with the claims of several tribal and ethnic groups. In 1972, the AFSPA was amended to extend to all the new rules. AFSPA has led to 6 widespread human rights violations ever since it was enacted.

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