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An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities. The Central Government, or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area.

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A suitable notification would have to be made in the Official Gazette. The Ministry of Home Affairs would usually enforce this Act where necessary, but there have been exceptions where the Centre decided to forego its power and leave the decision to the State governments. The Act came into force in the context of increasing violence in the Northeastern States decades ago, which the State governments found difficult to control.

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It is effective in the whole of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur excluding seven assembly constituencies of Imphal and parts of Arunachal Pradesh. The Centre revoked it in Meghalaya on April 1, It has been a controversial one, with human rights groups opposing it as being aggressive. After 32 years, the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives sweeping powers to security forces, was partially removed from three of nine districts of Arunachal Pradesh but would remain in force in the areas bordering Myanmar.

They have the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area, can use force or even open fire after giving due warning if they feel a person is in contravention of the law. If reasonable suspicion exists, the army can also arrest a person without a warrant; enter or search premises without a warrant; and ban the possession of firearms.

Any person arrested or taken into custody may be handed over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station along with a report detailing the circumstances that led to the arrest.

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An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities. The Central Government, or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area.

Right time to remove the Armed Forces Special Powers Act?

A suitable notification would have to be made in the Official Gazette. The Act came into force in the context of increasing violence in the Northeastern States decades ago, which the State governments found difficult to control. What are the special powers given to army officials?


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What has been the role of the judiciary? This creates a disjunction between the introduction and the rest of the book and leaves some of his arguments hanging. Overall, the book offers itself as a testimony to the struggles which people have waged and continue to wage against this unjust war.


  1. Congress's plan to review AFSPA will affect morale of armed forces: Nirmala Sitharaman!
  2. RSTV: THE BIG PICTURE- AFSPA DEBATE.
  3. Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
  4. Getting Away With Murder;
  5. The official doublespeak. Any historical discussion on the AFSPA involves turning attention to the parliamentary debates of and reiteration of the facts that the Act came in the form of an Ordinance twelve days after the Budget session of the Parliament was over, or that very little time was actually spent in debating the matter in either of the two Houses.

    PC, Code of Criminal Procedure. He admitted to the Act supplanting civil authority. How do wheels of justice turn and how long does it take for two mothers to convince the courts that their two sons had been killed by security personnel as they never returned home? A quick look at three judgements pertaining to the issue of enforced disappearances explains this tragic story.

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    What is AFSPA, and where is it in force?

    Two boys, K. Loken Singh alias Premjit Singh 21 yrs and T. The army maintained that they had taken the two boys along with another boy, K Iboyaima Singh on 23rd September and released all three on 25th September, two days later. In their many petitions before authorities, the families of the two disappeared boys stated that whilst Iboyaima Singh was admittedly released and that he returned home on 26th September, the two boys did not. Two habeas corpus petitions filed by the families came up before the Guwahati High Court in September The only concession the court was prepared to make was that the army should have complied with section 5 of the Act and handed the two boys over to the nearest police station instead of merely releasing them.

    However, the two bench judge once again dismissed the petitions on the same grounds as before. Significantly, the bench drew attention to the Supreme Court judgment on a similar matter of enforced disappearances, of C Daniel and C Paul in March see Sebastian M.

    Getting Away With Murder: 50 Years of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act

    Hongray vs. Union of India and Others, pp. When the matter came before the Supreme Court in , the court directed the District Judge, Imphal to conduct an inquiry into the disappearances in It took the two mothers seventeen years to convince the courts about the illegal detention and enforced disappearances of their two sons. While these mothers succeeded, how many more mothers have waited and continue to wait for their sons who have never returned? Is there a count?