Ministry of Home Affairs Forms Panel To Examine Withdrawal of AFSPA in Nagaland

A press release stated that the committee will submit its report in 45 days.

2 min read
Hindi Female

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has set up a committee, headed by Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Vivek Joshi, to examine the possibility of withdrawing the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Nagaland, the news agency PTI reported, quoting sources.

The development comes after Home Minister Amit Shah established in a meeting over the ongoing situation in Nagaland on Thursday, 23 December, that a new committee to examine the withdrawal of AFSPA would be instituted by the central government.

The meeting, held in New Delhi, was attended by the chief ministers of Nagaland and Assam, Neiphiu Rio and Himanta Biswa Sarma, Nagaland deputy CM Y Patton and NPFLP leader TR Zeliang.

Additional Secretary in the Union Home Ministry Piyush Goyal will be the member secretary of the panel. The Chief Secretary and Director General of Police of Nagaland and the DGP of Assam Rifles will be the other members of the committee, officials said, as per The Indian Express.

A press release stated that the committee will submit its report in 45 days and the withdrawal of the contentious act will be based on the recommendations of the committee.

Further, "a court of enquiry will initiate disciplinary proceedings against the army unit and army personnel, which were directly involved in the Oting incident and action will be taken immediately on the basis of fair enquiry," the statement read.

As per the release, the identified persons facing the probe will be placed under suspension with immediate effect.


As many as 14 civilians were killed by the Indian army in Nagaland on Saturday, 4 December, and Sunday, 5 December, in a series of incidents.

Later, the Nagaland state government urged the Centre to revoke the AFSPA in the northeast, renewing the decades-long calls to repeal the controversial law.

On Monday, 20 December, the Nagaland Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution demanding that the Centre revoke the act from the state and rest of the Northeast.


What Is AFSPA?

The AFSPA was first imposed in 1958 when Naga Hills was a part of Assam and also from 1963 when it became a full-fledged state. AFSPA allows for armed forces to be conferred with 'special powers', in any region designated as a 'disturbed area', either by the Centre or the Governor of a state or the Administrator of a Union Territory.

Once an area has been designated as a 'disturbed area', the Act provides the armed forces with the following 'special powers':

  • To open fire or use force, even causing death, against any person in contravention to the law for the time being or carrying arms and ammunition;

  • To arrest any person without a warrant, on the basis of “reasonable suspicion" that they have committed or are about to commit a cognizable offence;

  • To enter and search any premises without a warrant;

  • To destroy fortified positions, shelters, structures used as hide-outs, training camps or as a place from which attacks are or likely to be launched.

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Topics:  AFSPA   Amit Shah   Nagaland 

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