Nagaland: “Disturbed Area” for next 6 months

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KOHIMA, January 2: Under the controversial AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act), Nagaland has been declared “disturbed area” for another six months, until the end of June, considering AFSPA has empowered security forces to conduct operations anywhere and to arrest anyone without any official warrants or prior notice. Union Home Ministry in a gazette notification mentions that area comprising Nagaland is in such a dangerous and disturbing condition that use of armed forces becomes a necessity in assisting civil power, to maintain law and order in the State.

The notification further states that the Central Government, in the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No 28 of 1958), has, thereby, declared the State as “disturbed area” for a period of six months with effect from December 30, 2017.

A source Home Ministry has further unraveled that many untoward eventualities like killings, extortion, and loot, that have pervaded in varied parts of the State, have necessitated the action for the security forces operating there. Demands from different organizations from North East as well as Jammu and Kashmir have been made to retract the FSPA, which, according to them, offers sweeping powers to the security forces.

It needs to be noted that AFSPA has been in force in Nagaland since several decades, and has not withdrawn even after the framework agreement signed by Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and the Centre’s interlocutor RN Ravi on August 3, 2015, in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This framework agreement, which took place preceding 80 rounds of negotiations, that spanned over 18 years, with its first initiation in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was settled after decades of insurgency in the state.

In the view of the mentioned issue and the pervasive New Year festivities, TR Zeliang, Chief Minister of Nagaland has wished the people of the State and called upon the people to work towards a new perspective and build better State.