New Delhi: The Centre has renewed for six months its "disturbed area" notification on the entire state of Nagaland, allowing the armed forces power to search, raid and arrest without a warrant under AFSPA.
In its notification, the Home Ministry said that it is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of Nagaland "is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition" that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.
"Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 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 June 30, 2016 for the purpose of that Act," the notification said yesterday.
The announcement came three days after the demise of Isak Chishi Swu, Chairman of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), at a hospital here following multiple-organ failure.
Though the notification did not specify the reasons for declaring the entire Nagaland as "disturbed area", officials said it is continuation of an order issued years ago and is based on the assessment of the prevailing situation in the northeastern state, which has continued to be "critical".
Killings, extortion, factional clashes and other subversive activities have been going on in different parts of Nagaland at the behest of a few insurgent groups, they said.
Even through NSCN-IM has been engaged in a peace dialogue with the central government, the group's another faction led by S S Khaplang continues to attack security forces both in Nagaland and Manipur, the officials said.
Many groups in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir have demanded scrapping of AFSPA terming it as "draconian".
However, the armed forces are opposed to any move to dilute the Act on the ground that it protects the security forces from "unnecessary harassment".