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Question-1:  What is the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) ? Discuss issues related with its implementation.


Answer:  Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 is an act of the Parliament of India that grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces to maintain public order in disturbed areas.

Currently, it is applicable in states of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur {excluding Imphal Municipal Council Area}, and some districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Need for AFSPA

  • Nature of insurgency
    The insurgency in northeast is very complex. It is difficult to distinguish militants from civilians, resulting in complexities for armed forces.
  • Reduce political interference
    By giving large power to the armed forces, the political interference can be negated. Armed forces will be able to take independent decisions.

Issues with AFSPA

  • Human rights violation
    Critics of AFSPA argue that the law has been a tool to violate human rights. Victims of the law do not get any justice.
  • Furtherance of feeling of Alienation
    The AFSPA has further created divide between northeastern states and mainland India. People of the area believe that the law targets them deliberately.
  • Fake encounters
    Fake encounters are performed under the legal protection of AFSPA. The law ensures that culprits are not brought to justice.
  • Bypassing States
    The law bypasses the state while making decisions. Decisions are made by the armed forces without taking state government into confidence.

Way ahead

  • AFSPA law may be necessary to ensure law and order in the northeast but more accountability and sensibility elements needs to be incorporated in it for its fair execution.
  • The government has to take recommendation of Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy Commission, ARC as well as Santosh Hegde Commission.

Thus, AFSPA is a clear example of martial law that undermines democratic principles and violates individual rights.

Tags: GS 3 ( Defence and security)

By:  Prashant Tiwari

Updated on 04 May 2022 |   Added on .03 May 2022  |  by admin