Guwahati: For a supplementary period of six months till December end, the Centre has declared Nagaland in its entirety as a "Distributed Area" on Tuesday.
The Union Home Ministry in a notification said that the Central Government is of the outlook that the area containing the whole Nagaland is in such a disturbed and treacherous condition, that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.
"Now, therefore, in the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 1958) the central government hereby declares that whole of the said State to be a 'disturbed area' for a period of six months with effect from 30th June 2020 for the purpose of that Act," the home ministry said.
Since almost six decades, Nagaland has been under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) and it was not withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, by National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah) General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and government interlocutor R N Ravi, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The decision to maintain the status quo in Nagaland regarding coverage of AFSPA, a law slammed by many civil society groups as "draconian", came amidst reports of deteriorating law and order situation there. The AFSPA gives the armed forces sweeping powers to search and arrest, and to open fire if they deem it obligatory for "the maintenance of public order."