In a latest development from the state of Assam, the government has announced its intentions of extending the Armed Forces(Special Powers)Act, 1958 for an additional period of six months beginning from August 28.
This decision has been taken keeping in mind that the state was once again declared “disturbed” because of a series of recent insurgent attacks injuring and killing several members of the security forces in the Northeast. Another reason that has been cited for extending the AFSPA is that recently a lot of arms and ammunitions were also uncovered from different parts of the state showing that the area is allegedly disturbed and the imposition of the AFSPA is necessary for bringing back peace and ensuring law and order in Assam.
Despite the fact that the government has been keen on imposing the AFSPA for another six months in Assam, many civil society groups and activists working on issues of human rights have said that this move is unnecessary and the law should not be extended in Assam. They have been demanding the withdrawal of this law and have been opposing its fresh imposition on the people of the state.
The AFSPA is a special act under which the security forces can enjoy unprecedented special powers and can conduct a series of operations when they deem necessary and they can also arrest someone if they have a doubt or suspicion on them without giving them any prior notice or reason for the arrest. Assam has been under AFSPA since 1990 and the Act has been renewed from time to time.