The state of Nagaland has been declared a "disturbed area" for the next six months, under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) on June 30.
The Union Home Ministry in a notification mentioned that the government analysis of the area comprising the entire state of Nagaland is that it is in a disturbed and dangerous condition with killings, looting, and extortion cases have been going on in various parts of the state. Hence, the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary.
The notification which was issued by Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry Piyush Goyal further mentioned that "Now, therefore, in the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 1958), the central government, hereby, declares that whole of the state of Nagaland to be 'disturbed area' for a period of six months with effect from 30th June 2021 for the said Act," reported The New Indian Express.
What Is AFSPA?
In simpler words, The AFSPA empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. It is effective in the entire Nagaland, Assam, Manipur (excluding seven assembly constituencies of Imphal), and parts of Arunachal Pradesh.
The AFSPA has been in force in Nagaland for decades now. The controversial act was not withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, between the general secretary of the Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM, Thuingaleng Muivah, and the government interlocutor R N Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This agreement was a result of 80 rounds of negotiations over 18 years. Its first significant breakthrough in negotiations was in 1997 with the insurgency ceasefire agreement.