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AFSPA Removed from Meghalaya

Published on April 24, 2018
The Union Home Ministry has withdrawn the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) totally from Meghalaya as well as 8 out of 16 police stations in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • This withdrawal will effect from 31st March 2018.
  • Among the eight North Eastern states, AFSPA is now applicable only in Nagaland, Manipur (excluding Imphal), Assam and parts of Arunachal Pradesh.

What is AFSPA?

AFSPA stands for the Armed Forces Special Powers Act which gives special rights and immunity to security forces in carrying out various operations in "disturbed" areas. It gives security personnel the power to search premises and arrest without warrant, to use force even to the extent of causing death. It also provides cover to forces from prosecution and legal suits without the Central government’s sanction.

Key facts

  • According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, till September 2017, 40 per cent of Meghalaya was under AFSPA.
  • This included a 20 km stretch of the state’s border with Assam which was later reduced to 10 km after a consultation with the state government in September 2017.
  • Another review was held recently after which the decision to revoke AFSPA was taken.
  • This decision has been taken due to significant improvement of the security situation in the state. 
  • AFSPA was totally withdrawn from all areas of Meghalaya from April 1. 
  • This decision has been taken due to the significant improvement of the security situation in the state in the last 4 years.
  • The year 2017 recorded the lowest number of incidents of insurgency and casualties among civilians and security forces since 1997.
  • Between 2014 and 2018, there has been a 63 percent decline in insurgency incidents in NE; 83% fall in civilian deaths; and 40 percent fall in security personnel killings. 
  • The Act has, however, been extended by another six months in three eastern districts of Arunachal Pradesh — Tirap, Longding and Changlang — which border Myanmar.
  • These three districts have been under the AFSPA since January 2016.

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