The army will continue to act under AFSPA in Nagaland. (Representational)
Nagaland has been declared a "disturbed area" for six more months under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere in the state without prior notice to the civil administration. In a gazette notification, the Home Ministry said it is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of Nagaland is in such a "disturbed and dangerous condition" that the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary.
"Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, the central government hereby declares that whole of the said state to be a 'disturbed area' for a period of six months with effect from 30th June, 2017 for the purpose of that Act," Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Satyendra Garg said in the notification.
People familiar with the matter said killings, lootings and extortion
have been going in parts of Nagaland, leading to the extension of the "disturbed area" in the Northeastern state for six more months beginning June 30 under the AFSPA.
There have been demands from civil groups in the Northeast for repealing the AFSPA, which they say gives sweeping powers to the security forces to act against civilians. The AFSPA has been in force in Nagaland for several decades.
It has not been withdrawn even after a framework agreement
was signed on August 3, 2015, between Naga terrorist group NSCN (IM) General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and the government's interlocutor RN Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years. The first breakthrough came in 1997 when a ceasefire agreement was signed after decades of fighting in Nagaland.