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The operation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been extended for another six months in Nagaland with effect from 30th December 2020 after being declared a 'disturbed area' by the Central Government.
A gazette notification said the Centre was of the opinion that the area comprising whole of Nagaland is in such a disturbed condition that the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary.
"Now, therefore, in the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 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 30th December 2020 for the purpose of that said Act,” the Home Ministry said.
Nagaland has been under the coverage of the AFSPA for almost six decades and it was not withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, by Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah) General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and Centre's interlocutor, RN Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
The AFSPA gives the armed forces sweeping powers to search and arrest, and to open fire if they deem it necessary for "the maintenance of public order".