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ASSAM GOVERNMENT EXTENDS ‘DISTURBED AREA’ STATUS FOR NEXT SIX MONTHS

ASSAM GOVERNMENT EXTENDS ‘DISTURBED AREA’ STATUS FOR NEXT SIX MONTHS

Context:

The Assam government has declared the entire state as a "Disturbed Area" for another six months using the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 with effect from 28-08-2021 unless withdrawn earlier.

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA):

  • It came into force in the context of increasing violence in the North-eastern States decades ago, which the State governments found difficult to control.
  • AFSPA empowers armed forces to maintain public order in "disturbed areas".
  • They have the authority to block the gathering of five or more people in the area, may use force or open fire after giving a proper warning if they hear that someone is breaking the law.
  • If there is a reasonable suspicion, the military can also arrest a person without a warrant; enter or search premises without permission, and refuse to have guns.

Disturbed Area:

  • The Disturbed Area is the one declared by notice under Section 3 of the AFSPA.
  • It can be summoned to areas where the use of armed forces is required to assist civilian power.
  • The area may be considered to be disrupted by differences or disputes between members of different religious, ethnic, linguistic or regional groups or castes or communities.

Background:

  • In recent times, Assam has seen a large number of insurgent groups coming overground.
  • Last year the government signed an accord with Bodo militant outfits.
  • Recently the pact was signed with Karbi militant outfits.

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