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Govt extends AFSPA in Nagaland districts amid security concerns

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NEW DELHI, March 27: In a move to address ongoing security challenges, the Central government has extended the application of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in select districts of Nagaland.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a notification on Wednesday, declaring eight districts and 21 police stations across five other districts as “disturbed areas” for the next six months, until September 30, 2024.

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The decision comes after a comprehensive review of the prevailing law and order situation in Nagaland. The government has opted to maintain the status quo, retaining AFSPA in areas facing security concerns.

The districts covered by the extension include Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek, and Peren. Additionally, specific police stations falling within the jurisdiction of Khuzama, Kohima North, Kohima South, Zubza, and Kezocha in Kohima district; Mangkolemba, Mokokchung-I, Longtho, Tuli, Longchem, and Anaki ‘C’ in Mokokchung district; Yanglok in Longleng district; Bhandari, Champang, and Ralan in Wokha district; and Ghatashi, Pughoboto, Satakha, Suruhuto, Zunheboto, and Aghunato in Zunheboto district have been designated as “disturbed areas.

The extension of AFSPA, effective from April 1, 2024, empowers security forces with special powers to maintain law and order in these regions. However, the government retains the option to withdraw the Act earlier if the situation warrants.

This decision follows a similar extension of AFSPA last year, which covered specific regions of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
The government’s move underscores its commitment to ensuring peace and security in regions facing persistent security challenges.

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