Assam: In view of NRC, AFSPA extended for another six months in state

Govt of Assam extended Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, (AFSPA) all over state in view of ongoing NRC process . 


Guwahati

The state govt extended the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, (AFSPA) for another six month in Assam as a “precautionary measure to maintain order during the ongoing National Register for Citizens (NRC)”.

This is the third such extension of the Act by the state government in 30 years. The Act gives special rights and immunity to security forces in carrying out various operations in “disturbed” areas.

That “disturbances” in the then unified Assam (which included current Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh) was the reason that the AFSPA was resurrected in 1958, a year after the AFSPA, 1948, was repealed, makes it important to study what has caused the recent extensions and what its past experience with the controversial act has been like, and what’s keeping the State from withdrawing the draconian law.

In April 2018, though the Centre lifted the Act from Meghalaya, the Assam state government   retained AFSPA, once again citing the presence of militant outfits in the state.

The latest extension of AFSPA is reportedly to maintain order ahead or during the release of the final list of the NRC.“The situation is peaceful at the moment but we will not take a decision on withdrawing AFSPA until NRC exercise is over,” said Special Director General (Assam Police) Pallab Bhattacharya, according to a report in The Times of India.

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