The Manipur home department has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA, 1958, for another six months in the state, excluding areas under the jurisdiction of 19 police stations, according to a new notification.

AFSPA has been in effect in Manipur since the early eighties. (Representative Image)

The notification, effective from April 1 and issued by the Commissioner (Home), said the state government has decided to maintain the status quo on the present “Disturbed Area” status in the state due to “prevailing security uncertainty posed by insurgent groups” and keeping in view of the overall law and order situation in the state and the capability of the state machineries.

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The AFSPA gives special powers to armed forces personnel in areas classified as “disturbed areas” to search, arrest etc to maintain law and order in such areas. It has been in effect in Manipur since the early eighties. However, in 2004, the provisions of AFSPA were lifted from the Imphal Municipality area covering seven assembly segments. Subsequently, in April 2022, AFSPA was revoked from areas under 15 police stations across six districts. Furthermore, the disturbed area notification was rescinded from four additional police stations from April 1, 2023.

“The state government, after thorough analysis of the law-and-order situation, has deemed it necessary to maintain the ‘Disturbed Area’ status, acknowledging the sensitivity of the matter and the potential for public criticism,” the latest notification said.

“Further it will be premature to arrive at any conclusion or decision on such a sensitive matter without detailed assessment thereby not appropriate to review the “Disturbed Area” status of the state at the moment,” it said.

“Keeping in view of the above and overall law and order law and order situation in the state and the capability of the state machineries, the state government has decided to maintain the status quo on the present Disturbed Area status in the state of Manipur excluding the areas falling under the 19 police stations,” the notification added.

“Now therefore in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the AFSPA 1958/Act no.28 of 1958) as amended from time to time, the Governor of Manipur hereby accords approval to declare the entire state of Manipur excluding the areas falling under the 19 police stations as Disturbed Area for a period of six months,” it said.

The police station areas which don’t come under AFSPA are Imphal, Lamphel, City, Singjamei, Sekmai, Lamsang, Patsoi, Wangoi, Porompat, Heingang, Lamlai, Irilbung, Leimakhong, Thoubal, Bishnupur, Nambol, Moirang, Kakching and Jiribam.



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