The Centre on Wednesday extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act to three districts in Arunachal Pradesh, declaring them as ‘disturbed area’. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notified that the central government in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (28 of 1958) had declared the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh and the area falling within the jurisdiction of eight police stations in the districts of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam as “disturbed”areas.
“Now, therefore, Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of the following eight police stations in the districts of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the State of Assam, are declared as ‘disturbed area’ under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 up March 31, 2019 w.e.f. October 1, 2018, unless withdrawn earlier,” the notification further said.
The police stations are Balemu and Bhalukpong stations in West Kameng district, Seijosa police station in East Kameng district, Balijan police station in Papumpare district, Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district, Roing police station in Lower Dibang Valley district and Sunpura police station in Lohit district.
On August 30, Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi extended the AFSPA in the state for the next six months. The AFSPA grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces in ‘disturbed areas’. According to The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976, once declared ‘disturbed’, the area has to maintain the status quo for a minimum of three months.