Question-1: “ Keeping AFSPA indefinitely defeats the purpose of what is essentially an emergency provision to tackle insurgency”. Elaborate.
Answer: The Armed Forces Special Powers Act is a provision that gives armed forces operating in certain areas of the country additional powers. The law was made for a temporary purpose to tackle the rising insurgency but still has not been completely withdrawn.
Issues with AFSPA
- Human rights violation
Critics of the law accuse it of giving sweeping powers to the armed forces. The provisions of the law can be used to violate human rights.
Ex: Arresting citizens based on suspicion.
- Misuse of military power
The armed forces have been given internals security duties, which is basically the role of police. Armed forces can misuse their power to kill innocent citizens.
Ex: Destroy houses of suspects.
- Loss of trust
The AFSPA has been the main reason for loss of trust between the government and citizens of northeast. Many pacts have been pending as a result of loss of trust.
Ex: Pending Naga pact.
Reasons behind continuance of law
- Nature of insurgency
The insurgency in northeast is deeply rooted in civilian society, which makes it challenging for armed forces to operate. AFSPA aims to give them additional cushion.
Ex: Civilians giving shelter to militants.
- Morale of armed forces
Armed forcesgetsome sort of assurance that they will not be made scapegoat by political leadership. This will boost their morale during operation.
- Protect frontier areas
Northeast region shares border with multiple countries. The topography is challenging and forces need additional laws to ensure protection of these areas.
Thus, the areas under the law is slowly being decreased so that it can be used only in dire situations. Improvement in law and order can allow civilian police to take over.
Tags: GS 3 ( Defence and Security)
By – Raghunandan