AFSPA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Security)

News-CRUX-10     28th March 2024        

Context: Recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that the Centre is planning to revoke the controversial AFSPA Act and withdraw some troops from Jammu and Kashmir.

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) 

  • About: An Act to enable certain special powers to be conferred upon members of the armed forces in disturbed areas.
  • Timeline: The Act in its original form was promulgated by the British in response to the Quit India movement in 1942. After Independence, Government decided to retain the Act, which was first brought in as an ordnance and then notified as an Act in 1958.
  • Imposition Of AFSPA: It has been imposed on the Northeast states, Jammu & Kashmir, and Punjab during the militancy years. Punjab was the first state from where it was repealed,

oIt remains in force in Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, J&K, and parts of Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Powers to declare areas to be disturbed areas: Governor of that State or the administrator of that Union Territory or the Central Government.
  • Ground For declaration: If in the opinion of concerned authority, Disturbed or dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary, the authority, may by notification, declare the whole or such part of such State or Union territory to be a disturbed area.
  • Special Powers of the armed forces:
  • Security forces have the authority to use force, including lethal force, against individuals violating laws, with a prior warning issued.
  • They possess the power to demolish arms dumps, fortified positions, or shelters used for armed attacks.
  • They can arrest individuals without a warrant if they have committed a recognizable offense or are reasonably suspected.
  • They are empowered to enter and search premises without a warrant to effect such arrests.
  • Indian States that are under AFSPA Act: Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh.
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