Assam govt extends ‘disturbed area’ tag for 6 months from Feb 27

Assam, Feb 24 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 2/24/2021 1:17:05 PM IST

Ahead of state assembly polls, the Governor of Assam has declared the entire State of Assam as “Disturbed Area” upto 6 months beyond February 27, unless withdrawn earlier, reports The Sentinel Assam. 

In an official statement issued by the state government it said, “As per powers conferred under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, the Governor of Assam has declared the entire State of Assam as “Disturbed Area” upto 6 (six) months beyond 27/02/2021, unless withdrawn earlier”.

The announcement came with no official comment on the reason behind the extension of the Act, however, reports suggest that the recovery of arms and ammunitions in some parts of the state could be the reason behind the extension. Last year in August Assam government extended ‘Disturbed Area’ for 6 more months from August 28. The state government than has reasoned that state has been declared disturbed area in view of insurgent attacks on security forces in Northeast India and recovery of arms and ammunition in Assam.

It needs to be mentioned here that the announcement came just a day after over 1000 militants from five outfits laid down their arms before Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to return to the mainstream. 

Welcoming the surrenderers into the mainstream, Sonowal said his government is working to make Assam a terror-free state. Armed forces deployed in disturbed areas are empowered to arrest, search any premises and even shoot anyone without any warrant. The AFSPA is renewed every six months

As per Section 3 of the AFSPA, it can be invoked in places where “the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary”. Both the central and the state government can declare any area as ‘disturbed’ under the Act. 

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