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AFSP Act

AFSP Act
Highlights

Citing last week-'s clashes with CPI-M workers, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday demanded the imposition of AFSPA in Tripura while the...

Citing last week's clashes with CPI-M workers, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday demanded the imposition of AFSPA in Tripura while the ruling Left accused it of unleashing hostility to discredit the government in view of next year's assembly polls. The party raised the demand for promulgation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) following clashes between its workers and those of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in a few places in southern Tripura since last week.

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), popularly known as "disturbed areas act" empowers the Indian Armed Forces to maintain law and order and to arrest anyone without prior notice. Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA), are Acts of the Parliament of India that grant special powers to the Indian Armed Forces in what each act terms "disturbed areas".

One such act passed on September 11, 1958 was applicable to the Seven Sister States in India's northeast (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura). Another passed in 1983 and applicable to Punjab and Chandigarh was withdrawn in 1997, roughly 14 years after it came to force. An act passed in 1990 was applied to Jammu and Kashmir and has been in force since.

The law grants security forces the power to search properties without a warrant, and to arrest people, and to use deadly force if there is "reasonable suspicion" that a person is acting against the state, according to Wikipedia. AFSPA empowers the governor of the state, or the central government to declare any part of the state as a 'disturbed area', if in its opinion there exists a dangerous situation in the said area which makes it necessary to deploy armed forces in the region.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the law still remains a bone of contention in the militancy-hit state. The Act has received criticism from several sections for alleged concerns about human rights violations in the regions of its enforcement, where arbitrary killings, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and enforced disappearances have alleged to have happened.

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