The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday extended the disturbed area designation in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland for another six months under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958.
The decisions were made after a study of the law-and-order situation in both jurisdictions, according to two separate notices. The AFSPA grants armed forces personnel working in troubled areas broad authority to search, arrest, and open fire if they believe it is necessary to maintain public order.
According to a notification, Additional Secretary Piyush Goyal, “The central government in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the AFSPA 1958 (28 of 1958) had declared the 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 as ‘disturbed area’ on March 24, 2023.”
“Also, a further review of the law and order situation in Arunachal Pradesh has been carried out.” As a result, Tirap, Changlang, and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh, as well as the areas under the jurisdiction of Namsai, Mahadevpur, and Chowkham police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the state of Assam, are declared as ‘disturbed areas’ for a period of six months beginning October 1, 2023, unless withdrawn earlier,” Goyal said.
In the other notification, Goyal stated that the Central government, in exercising the powers conferred by Section 3 of the AFSPA, 1958 (28 of 1958), had declared eight districts and 16 police stations in five other districts of Nagaland as a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months beginning April 1, 2023.
“Now, therefore, Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek and Peren districts in Nagaland and the areas in Nagaland falling within the jurisdiction of Khuzama, Kohima North, Kohima South, Zubza and Kezocha police stations in Kohima District; Mangkolemba, Mokokchung-I, Longtho, Tuli, Longchem and Anaki ‘C’ police stations in Mokokchung District; Yanglok police station in Longleng District; Bhandari, Champang and Ralan police stations in Wokha District; and Ghatashi, Pughoboto, Satakha, Suruhuto, Zunheboto and Aghunato police stations in Zunheboto District, are declared as ‘disturbed area’ under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for a period of six months with effect from October 1, 2023, unless withdrawn earlier,” it said.