Armed Forces Special Powers Act 

Context

  • The Assam government extended the ‘Disturbed Area’ status of the State for another six months under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

AFSPA

  • The Armed Forces Special Powers Act was enforced in 1958.
  • The Act was first introduced to bring in control the increasing violence in the North-eastern States. 
  • Under AFSPA, armed forces has the authority to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”. 
  • Armed forces can prohibit a gathering of 5 or more persons in an area. 
  • They can use force or even open fire after giving due warning if they feel a person is in contravention of the law.
  • The army also has the power to arrest a person under suspicion without a warrant. 
  • They can also enter or search premises without a warrant; and ban the possession of firearms.
  • AFSPA provides the security personnel with absolute powers without being accounted for. This results in atrocities and human rights violations by the security agencies.
  • AFSPA violates international human rights conventions like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the Convention against Torture( India is a signatory, but it has not ratified it).
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