Why in News:
- A committee constituted by the Union Home to study the withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA from Nagaland, is yet to conclude its findings.
- Passed in 1958 for the North-East and in 1990 for Jammu & Kashmir, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) gives armed forces special powers to control “disturbed areas”, which are designated by the government when it is of the opinion that a region is in such a disturbed or dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary.
- An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.
- The Central Government, or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area.
- Under its provisions, the armed forces have been empowered to open fire, enter and search without warrant, and arrest any person who has committed a cognisable offence, all while having immunity from being prosecuted.
- The law has been repealed where insurgencies have subsided, and when governments have gained confidence in managing the region using the police force.