Arunachal: Centre Extends ‘Disturbed Area’ Tag under AFSPA for 3 Districts

Arunachal: Centre Extends ‘Disturbed Area’ Tag under AFSPA for 3 Districts

The Centre has declared three districts of Arunachal Pradesh and areas falling under two police stations in another district as "disturbed" under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for six more months in view of the insurgent activities and review of the law-and-order situation there, officials said.

According to a notification issued by the Union Home Ministry the order will be effective from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

This is for the first time after a long period that the AFSPA will not be applicable to two police stations in another two districts — Lower Dibang and Lohit — in view of the improved security situation, a home ministry official said on Friday.

The Central government in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (28 of 1958) had declared the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh and the area falling within the jurisdiction of four police stations — two in Namsai district and one each in Lower Dibang and Lohit districts of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam as "disturbed area" through a notification on April 1, 2021.

The ministry has carried out a further review of the law-and-order situation in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh and in the area falling within the jurisdiction of four police stations in other districts of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Assam recently, a PTI report said.

"Now, therefore, Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the state of Assam, are declared as "disturbed area" under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 from 01.10.2021 to 31.03.2022 unless withdrawn earlier," the notification said.

The AFSPA is imposed in areas where armed forces are required to operate in aid to civil authorities.

For AFSPA to become valid, an area, however, needs to be declared disturbed either by the central or the state governments under section 3 of the 1958 Act.

Some parts of Arunachal Pradesh have the presence of banned militant outfits like NSCN, ULFA and NDFB, another official said.

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