The controversial law, which gives sweeping powers to the security forces, will, however, still be in force in the areas bordering Myanmar.
New Delhi: Nearly three decades after the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was imposed in Arunachal Pradesh, it has now been partially removed from three of the state’s nine districts. The controversial law, which gives sweeping powers to the security forces, will, however, still be in force in the areas bordering Myanmar.
The Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy Committee had earlier recommended scrapping of the AFSPA from the entire state. Under the AFSPA, the security forces can arrest anyone or carry out searches in any premises.
A Union home ministry notification said four police station areas in Arunachal Pradesh, which were earlier declared as disturbed areas under AFSPA, will now no longer be under the purview of the special law. These four police stations are Balemu and Bhalukpong in West Kameng district, Seijosa police station in East Kameng district and Balijan police station in Papumpare district.
The notification said AFSPA will remain in force in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts and the areas under the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district, Roing in Lower Dibang Valley district and Sunpura in Lohit district for six more months till September 30.
MHA officials claimed that the “disturbed area” tag was withdrawn from the four police station areas as there was an improvement in the law and order situation there, and it will continue in other areas in view of the continuing activities of the banned northeastern insurgent groups. A review of the law and order situation in the state’s six districts was undertaken before the March 31 deadline for the validity of the “disturbed area” designation under AFSPA. Banned militant outfits like NSCN, Ulfa and NDFB have a presence in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Earlier, in March last year, AFSPA had been removed completely from Meghalaya after the situation there had somewhat improved.
The AFSPA is normally imposed in areas where the armed forces operate to assist the civil authorities. In order to impose AFSPA, the area needs to be declared disturbed either by the Centre or the state government.