What is AFSPA Act 1958 | The Armed Forces Special Powers Act |
The northeastern states of India witnessed a surge in violence, leading to a breakdown of law and order, and the state administration became incapable of maintaining internal stability. As a result, the President promulgated the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Ordinance on May 22, 1958. This ordinance granted special powers to the armed forces in disturbed areas of Assam and the Union Territory of Manipur. Subsequently, the ordinance was replaced by the What is AFSPA Act 1958 Bill.
What is AFSPA Act 1958:-
The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) is an Indian law that grants special powers to the Indian armed forces in “disturbed areas” to maintain public order. The law was first enacted in 1958 to tackle the separatist movement in the northeastern states of India, but it has since been extended to other areas of the country, such as Jammu and Kashmir.
Under the AFSPA, any army officer of the rank of major or above, or any officer of equivalent rank in the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy, can declare an area as “disturbed” and grant the armed forces the power to maintain public order in that area. The act grants the armed forces the power to search, arrest, and use force, even to the extent of causing death, if necessary, in order to maintain public order.
The AFSPA has been a controversial law, with human rights organizations criticizing it for giving the armed forces impunity for human rights violations. The law has been amended several times, but it remains a subject of debate in India.
When AFSPA Act impose in any State?
The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) applies to “disturbed areas” that are notified by the central or state government. The act has been enforced in several parts of India, including Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, and parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Once an area is notified as “disturbed”, the armed forces are given special powers to maintain public order and deal with any threats to security.
It’s important to note that the decision to apply AFSPA to a particular area is a matter of the government’s discretion and is based on its assessment of the security situation in that area. The act has been a subject of controversy, with some human rights organizations and activists calling for its repeal, while others argue that it is necessary to maintain law and order in areas affected by insurgency and terrorism.
What happen when AFSPA act imposed in any region:-
When the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is imposed in a region, the armed forces are given special powers to maintain public order and deal with any threats to security. Some of the powers granted to the armed forces under AFSPA include:
- Power to arrest without warrant: The armed forces can arrest anyone without a warrant who is suspected of being involved in activities that threaten the security of the area.
- Power to search without warrant: The armed forces can search any premises without a warrant if they suspect that it contains arms or ammunition or any person who is involved in activities that threaten the security of the area.
- Power to use force: The armed forces have the power to use force, including lethal force, if necessary, to maintain public order or to deal with any threat to security.
- Protection from legal action: Under AFSPA, no legal action can be taken against any member of the armed forces for actions taken in the line of duty, without the prior approval of the central government.
The imposition of AFSPA has been a subject of controversy, with human rights organizations and activists criticizing it for granting excessive powers to the armed forces and leading to human rights violations.