AFSPA extended in Nagaland amid protests over civilian killings

Vehicles belonging to armed forces personnel set on fire by angry residents after 14 civilians were gunned down by Indian army’s Assam Rifles in Nagaland. [File Photo]

Nagaland: The controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 (AFSPA), which gives sweeping powers to armed forces, has been extended for another six months in Nagaland, where the army is conducting a court of inquiry into the killing of 14 civilians.

The move came days after the Government of India (GoI) constituted a high-level committee to examine the possibility of the withdrawal of the controversial AFSPA.

The controversial law which is operational in Nagaland for several years empowers armed forces to conduct operations and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. It also gives immunity to the armed forces if they shoot someone dead.

The development comes amid massive protests and active calls for the withdrawal of the act.

Earlier, various rights groups and even the state government of Nagaland demanded the Government of India to withdraw the law.

On December 20, the Nagaland assembly unanimously resolved to demand a repeal of AFSPA from the northeast, especially the state.

A five-member committee has been formed under top bureaucrat Vivek Joshi to examine the possibility of withdrawal of AFSPA from Nagaland.

At least 14 civilians were killed by the Indian armed forces personnel on December 4, 2021, in Oting village of Nagaland’s Mon district.

The villagers had said that the “attempt was made to pass dead off as militants”.


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