Guwahati: The Assam government on Wednesday extended the existing ‘disturbed area’ status of the state for another six months from February 27 under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).
“As per powers conferred under section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, the Governor of Assam has declared the entire state of Assam as ‘disturbed area’ upto 6 (six) months beyond 27/02/2021, unless withdrawn earlier”, according to an official release issued here.
The release did not cite any particular reason for the extension, but sources said that it was in view of the assembly elections due in April-May and recovery of arms and ammunitions from some parts of the state.
The AFSPA was imposed in Assam in November 1990 and has been extended every six months since then after a review by the state government.
In the North East, the AFSPA is in force in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (excluding Imphal Municipal Council Area), Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh, and areas falling within the jurisdiction of the eight police stations of districts in Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam.
Civil society groups and rights activists in the region have been demanding withdrawal of the alleged ‘draconian’ law from the northeastern states where it has been imposed.