What has it achieved in “disturbed areas,” where it is in effect? Should it remain in force, be revoked, or at least revised?
- On March 27, the Indian government declared as “disturbed areas” 12 districts in Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam and imposed the AFSPA on them, only to revoke it in early May. But what really constitutes a “disturbed area”?
- AFSPA’s subsequent revocation here and in Tripura raised hopes of its withdrawal from other “disturbed areas” too. Those hopes were quickly dashed following the ambush in Manipur.
The Genesis –
- Drawing from a draconian ordinance the British colonial rulers used during the Quit India Movement of 1942, the Indian Parliament enacted AFSPA in September 1958 in the context of the nascent Naga insurgency.
- Besides conferring extensive powers on the armed forces, AFSPA provides them immunity from prosecution.
- No prosecution, suit or other legal proceeding shall be instituted except with the previous sanction of the Central government against any person.
As Sanjoy Hazarika, a member of the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee, wrote: “how many more deaths, how many more naked protests, how many more hunger strikes, how many more committees, how many more editorials and articles and broadcasts before AFSPA goes?”