Under this law the armed forces have the authority to prohibit gathering of five or more persons in an area. In some cases the forces can open fire on the disturbing factors after giving due warning if found any suspicious person. When differences in the communities arise on the basis of race, religion, language, region and caste and anarchic situation arises then the state or central government is entitled to declare that area as " Disturbed Area Act". AFSPA is levied only in those areas which have been declared as disturbed areas. Army and armed forces are sent in the area only after the implementation of this law.
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The Acts have received criticism from several sections for alleged concerns about human rights violations in the regions of its enforcement alleged to have happened. The Article of the Constitution of India confers power to the Central Government to protect every state from internal disturbance. When the situation worsened, Assam deployed the Assam Rifles in the Naga Hills and enacted the Assam Disturbed Areas Act of , providing a legal framework for the paramilitary forces and the armed state police to combat insurgency in the region.
Rajendra Prasad on 22 May The reason for conferring such a power as per "Objects and Reasons'" appended to the Bill was that "Keeping in view the duty of the Union under Article of the Constitution, interalia , to protect every State against internal disturbance, it is considered desirable that the Central government should also have power to declare areas as 'disturbed', to enable its armed forces to exercise the special powers".
Recently the Tripura state government has decided to withdraw the controversial Act, citing significant reduction in the extent of terrorist activities in the state. The period has further been extended by another 6 months in above three districts of Arunachal Pradesh in April, The Act was enforced in the whole of Punjab and Chandigarh on 15 October The terms of the Act broadly remained the same as that of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act Assam and Manipur of except for two sections, which provided additional powers to the armed forces.
If the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir or the Central Government, is of opinion that the whole or any part of the State is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition then this Act can be imposed. The Articles in the Constitution of India empower state governments to declare a state of emergency due to one or more of the following reasons:. In such cases, it is the prerogative of the state government to call for central help. In most cases, for example during elections, when the local police may be stretched too thin to simultaneously handle day-to-day tasks, the central government obliges by sending in the BSF and the CRPF.
AFSPA is confined to be enacted only when a state, or part of it, is declared a 'disturbed area'. Continued unrest, like in the cases of militancy and insurgency, and especially when borders are threatened, are situations where AFSPA is resorted to. By Act 7 of , the power to declare areas as being disturbed was extended to the central government. In a civilian setting, soldiers have no legal tender, and are still bound to the same command chain as they would be in a war theater.
Neither the soldiers nor their superiors have any training in civilian law or policing procedures. This is where and why the AFSPA comes to bear - to legitimize the presence and acts of armed forces in emergency situations which have been deemed war-like. On 8 July , in a landmark ruling, The Supreme Court of India ended the immunity of the armed forces from prosecution under AFSPA, saying, in an page judgement, "It does not matter whether the victim was a common person or a militant or a terrorist, nor does it matter whether the aggressor was a common person or the state.
The law is the same for both and is equally applicable to both This is the requirement of a democracy and the requirement of preservation of the rule of law and the preservation of individual liberties.
She termed the law as "dated and colonial-era law that breach contemporary international human rights standards. It clearly violates International Law. A number of UN treaty bodies have pronounced it to be in violation of International Law as well. The Act has been criticized by Human Rights Watch as a "tool of state abuse, oppression and discrimination". The South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre argues that the governments' call for increased force is part of the problem.
The use of the AFSPA pushes the demand for more autonomy, giving the people of the North East more reason to want to secede from a state which enacts such powers and the agitation which ensues continues to justify the use of the AFSPA from the point of view of the Indian Government. A report by the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis points to multiple occurrences of violence by security forces against civilians in Manipur since the passage of the Act.
Irom Chanu Sharmila also known as the "Iron Lady of Manipur" or "Mengoubi" "the fair one" is a civil rights activist, political activist, and poet from the Indian state of Manipur. On 2 November , she began a hunger strike which ended on 9 August after 16 years. On 2 November , in Malom, a town in the Imphal Valley of Manipur, ten civilians were shot and killed while waiting at a bus stop.
The incident, known as the "Malom Massacre", was allegedly committed by the Assam Rifles, one of the Indian Paramilitary forces operating in the state. In addition to this, there have been claims of disappearances by the police or the army in Kashmir by several human rights organizations. Many human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch HRW have condemned human rights abuses in Kashmir by police such as "extra-judicial executions", "disappearances", and torture;  the "Armed Forces Special Powers Act", which "provides impunity for human rights abuses and fuels cycles of violence.
Indian officials claim that troops need such powers because the army is only deployed when national security is at serious risk from armed combatants. Such circumstances, they say, call for extraordinary measures. Sandeep Pandey and many others. They all accept that people to people communication and development of new avenues are the only way for peace, however laws like AFSPA are continuously violating human rights issues there. The Wikileaks diplomatic cables have disclosed that Indian government employees agree to acts of human rights violations on part of the Indian armed forces and various paramilitary forces deployed in the north east parts of India especially Manipur.
The violations have been carried out under the cover of this very Act. Governor S. Sidhu admitted to the American Consul General in Kolkata, Henry Jardine, that the Assam Rifles in particular are perpetrators of violations in Manipur which the very same cables described as a state that appeared more of a colony and less of an Indian state.
Earlier leaks had also stated that International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC had reported to the United States diplomats in Delhi about the "grave human rights situation" in Kashmir which included "the use of electrocution, beatings and sexual humiliation against hundreds of detainees". A high-power commission headed by the retired Supreme Court judge, N. Santosh Hegde was constituted in January to probe six encounter deaths in Manipur. The committee has suggested fixing a time frame of three months for the central government to decide whether to prosecute security personnel engaged in extrajudicial killings or unruly behaviour in insurgency-hit regions.
The commission also said the law needs to be reviewed every six months to see whether its implementation is actually necessary in states where it is being enforced. About Section 6 of the Act, which guarantees protection against prosecution to the armed forces, the report said: "It is not that no action can be taken at all.
Action can be taken but with prior sanction of the Central Government. The commission recommended to repeal AFSPA as "the Act is a symbol of hate, oppression and instrument of high handedness". It had submitted its report on It commented that its scrapping would remove sentiments of discrimination and alienation among the people of the North East India. The commission recommended to amend the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, inserting a new chapter to deploy the armed forces of the Union in the North eastern States.
It supported a new doctrine of policing and criminal justice inherent in an inclusive approach to governance. Supreme Court said that any encounter carried out by armed forces in the garb of AFSPA should be subjected to thorough inquiry.
In the words of supreme court "It does not matter whether the victim was a common person or a militant or a terrorist, nor does it matter whether the aggressor was a common person or the state. The law is the same for both and is equally applicable to both.. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 28 February The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 21 July Retrieved 29 July Retrieved 8 July Retrieved 16 March Archived from the original on 30 October The Telegraph.
Calcutta, India. National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. Archived from the original PDF on 1 October Economic and Political Weekly. Archived from the original on 5 November Retrieved 29 April New Delhi. Retrieved 11 July Deccan Herald. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Retrieved 28 July Retrieved 19 June Retrieved 24 March TIME Magazine. Department of State. Retrieved 20 May Election Commission of India.
Government of India. Press Information Bureau. Retrieved 7 April Archived from the original on 9 November The Times Of India.
DNA India. Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Indian legislation. Hidden categories: Pages with reference errors All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from July Articles with permanently dead external links Pages with broken reference names Webarchive template wayback links Articles with dead external links from June Articles with dead external links from September Use Indian English from August All Wikipedia articles written in Indian English Use dmy dates from April Namespaces Article Talk.
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act
Comprised almost exclusively of incendiary footage, including acts of self-immolation, the ongoing campaign for self-determination by residents of Indian state Manipur is a frequently horrifying record of extreme civil disobedience. By Richard Kuipers. Title stands for Armed Forces Special Power Act, , which is blamed for proliferation of deaths and rapes claimed to have been perpetrated by members of security forces. Action chronicled here is the sustained shock wave following the death of local woman Th. Manorama Devi. Home Film Reviews.
Manipur and Armed Forces (Special Power) Act 1958
The Act has often faced flak from human rights groups as it gave sweeping powers and immunity to the army in conflict-ridden areas. As of now, according to the home ministry, six more states come under the ambit of this law under various conditions. Here is a simple explainer to make sense of it all:. Assam, Nagaland, Manipur except the Imphal municipal area , Arunachal Pradesh only the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts plus a km belt bordering Assam , Meghalaya confined to a km belt bordering Assam and Jammu and Kashmir.