On February 21, Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed that Nagaland’s contentious Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) would be repealed within the following three to four years.
In an election rally at Tuensang Sadar, Nagaland, Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that the Modi administration has ensured Nagaland’s peace and development.
As per Shah, the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) ending its election boycott is a positive development. The ENPO’s concerns have been discussed and an agreement signed following the assembly elections. As its demand for a separate Frontier Nagaland state hasn’t been met, ENPO withdrew its call to boycott the February 27 assembly elections on February 4.
In seven Nagaland districts, 15 police station areas have had the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) revoked, according to Shah, who also predicted that in three to four years, all of Nagaland would be free of the AFSPA.
The development and rights of eastern Nagaland are a concern that will be addressed after the election.
Additionally, he stated that after the elections, certain concerns regarding the rights and development of eastern Nagaland would be resolved. PM Narendra Modi’s initiative to advance the Naga peace talks should pave the way for the complete repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Nagaland within the next three to four years.
In Tuensang, Shah claimed that measures taken by the Center over the previous nine years had resulted in a 70% decrease in violent crime and other disturbances throughout the northeastern states. Causes of civilian deaths from violence have also decreased by 83%, while casualties among security forces stationed in the region have decreased by 60%.
The removal of the armed forces law from 15 police station limits in seven districts during the tenure of the current BJP-NDPP government is evidence of the improvement in law and order.
In addition, he cited the increase in budgetary support for tribals from Rs 21,000 crore in 2014 to Rs 86,000 crore in 2022 as evidence of the changes brought about by the NDA’s rule.
Shah declared the withdrawal of the AFSPA from several districts throughout Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur in April 2022. According to him, the government’s consistent efforts and numerous agreements to end the insurgency and bring lasting peace to the Northeast improved the security situation and accelerated the plan’s development.
What is AFSPA?
The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) grants the armed forces and the Central Armed Police forces stationed in “disturbed areas” unrestricted authority to execute anyone breaking the law. To detain and search any property without a warrant, and to kill those who do so while enjoying immunity from criminal and civil litigation.
To address the Naga uprising, the law was first implemented in 1958. Following an amendment to the Act in 1972, both the central and state governments were given the authority to declare a region “disturbed.”
Meghalaya was subject to AFSPA for 27 years before the MHA revoked it effective April 1, 2018, after Tripura’s Act was repealed in 2015. Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh all have AFSFA in some areas.