The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) has been extended for another six months in Nagaland, with the Ministry of Home Affairs, asserting the state continues to be in a "disturbed and dangerous condition".
The Act is implemented with effect from December 30 and will be in force till June 30 next year.
According to the gazette notification issued on Monday, "the Central Government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of state of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary."
"Now, therefore, in 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 said State to be a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months with effect from 30th December, 2019 for the purpose of that Act," it said.
The AFSPA grants special powers to the Indian armed forces in disturbed areas. It has been in force in Nagaland for several decades and it has not been withdrawn despite a framework agreement signed in August 2015 by Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM and the government.
There have been demands from various quarters across the country to withdraw AFSPA from states like Jammu and Kashmir and some of the states in the north-east. The civil society has been demanding the repealing of the Act, as it gives "blanket powers" to the armed forces.