Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday, 31 March, announced that the Centre has decided to reduce "disturbed areas" under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam, and Manipur.
However, a home ministry spokesperson said the decision does not mean that AFSPA has been completely withdrawn from the three states but will continue to be in force in some areas of the said states, PTI reported.
Shah, who made the announcement on Twitter, said that this has happened after decades "under the decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi".
Thanks to PM Modi's commitment, the northeast is now witnessing new era of peace, prosperity, development after decades of neglect, Shah added.
Meanwhile, on Friday, 1 April, the Home Ministry issued a notification that the government has declared Nagaland as a 'disturbed area' where AFSPA will continue to remain imposed for the next six months. The government also said that a further of review of law and order situation in Nagaland has been undertaken.
Govt Extends AFSPA in 3 Districts of Arunachal
The Home Ministry issued a separate notification on Friday that the government is extending AFSPA in Tirap, Changlang, and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Centre has also declared areas that fall under the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district, which borders Assam, as 'disturbed area' under Section 3 of the AFSPA till 30 September.
The MHA said, "Now, therefore, Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the State of Assam, are declared as 'disturbed areas' under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 from 01.04.2022 to 30.09.2022, unless withdrawn earlier."
The AFSPA has been in force in the four states for decades, aiming to assist the armed forces in tackling insurgency.
The AFSPA allows for armed forces to be conferred with sweeping powers to operate in areas designated as 'disturbed' and grants them immunity from prosecution without centre's sanction.
It has faced resistance from several quarters ever since it was implemented in areas designated as 'disturbed'. There have been protests and demands for its complete withdrawal from the Northeast as well as Jammu & Kashmir.
(With inputs from PTI.)