Government declares Nagaland “disturbed area” as demand for AFSPA withdrawal continues

New Delhi, December 30th

The center on Thursday declared the whole of Nagaland a “disturbed area” for six more months with effect from 30 December under AFSPA, while calling the state “disturbed and dangerous”.

The move came days after the EU government set up a high-level committee to investigate the possibility of withdrawing the controversial law on armed forces (special powers) from Nagaland.

AFSPA has been operational in Nagaland for decades.

“While the central government is of the opinion that the area, which encompasses the entire state of Nagaland, is in such a disturbed and dangerous state that the use of armed forces to assist the civilian force is necessary.

“Now, therefore, the central government, in exercising the powers conferred by section 3 of the Armed Forces Act (Special Powers), 1958 (No. 28 of 1958), declares that the whole State of Nagaland is a ‘disturbed territory’ for a period of six months with effect from 30 December 2021 for the purposes of the said Act, “reads a statement from the Ministry of the Interior.

The announcement was made by the Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Piyush Goyal, who has been appointed Member of the Panel to examine the possibility of withdrawing AFSPA. The committee is chaired by Secretary-General Vivek Joshi.

The high-level committee has apparently been set up to soothe the rising tension in Nagaland over the killing of 14 civilians.

Protests for the withdrawal of AFSPA have been going on in several districts of Nagaland since an army unit killed 14 civilians in the state’s Mon district earlier this month, confusing them with being rebels.

AFSPA authorizes security forces to carry out operations and arrest anyone without prior notice. It also gives immunity to the forces if they shoot anyone dead. PTI

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