Assam extends Armed Forces Special Powers Act for 6 Months
GUWAHATI: The BJP-led Assam government has decided to extend the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) for another six months citing security concerns.
The Assam government is concerned about disturbances within the State in the wake of publication of complete National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The Act allows special powers to Indian armed forces involved in operations in 'disturbed' areas.
"As per powers conferred under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, the Governor of Assam has declared the entire State of Assam as 'Disturbed Area' up to 6 (six) months beyond 28th August 2018, unless withdrawn earlier," an official release said.
The move has been opposed by many civil society groups and human rights activists as AFSPA leads to abuse of human rights by security forces. There have been many instances in which AFSPA has been wrongly used by the forces to terrorise the common public in areas infested with insurgency.
Supreme Court Judgement on AFSPA
On July 8, 2016, in a landmark ruling, The Supreme Court of India ended the immunity of the armed forces from prosecution under AFSPA, saying, in an 85-page judgement, “It does not matter whether the victim was a common person or a militant or a terrorist, nor does it matter whether the aggressor was a common person or the state. The law is the same for both and is equally applicable to both... This is the requirement of a democracy and the requirement of preservation of the rule of law and the preservation of individual liberties.”