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In the midst of protests, the Centre extends the AFSPA in Nagaland for another six months

The Armed Services (Special Powers) Act of 1958 gives security forces the authority to conduct operations and make arrests without a warrant

In the midst of protests, the Centre extends the AFSPA in Nagaland for another six months
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With effect from Thursday, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 (AFSPA) has been extended in Nagaland for another six months (December 30).

The action comes only days after the Union government formed a high-level committee to look into the prospect of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act being removed from Nagaland.

"Whereas the Central government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of the State 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 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 State of Nagaland to be a 'disturbed area' for a period of six months with effect from December 30, 2021, for the purpose of the said Act," a home ministry notification said.

The notification was issued by Piyush Goyal, the additional secretary in the Home Ministry, who has been nominated a member secretary on the panel looking into the prospect of the AFSPA being repealed. Vivek Joshi, a secretary-level officer, is in charge of the committee.

The development comes amid widespread protests and active requests for the act's repeal by the Nagaland government and people, following the deaths of 14 civilians in an Indian Army counter-insurgency operation.

In parliament, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh described the killings as a case of "mistaken identification" and promised an investigation. The killings in Nagaland sparked nationwide demonstrations and rioting throughout the state.

The Armed Personnel (Special Powers) Act, which has been in effect in Nagaland for some years, gives security forces the authority to conduct operations and arrest people without a warrant. It also grants the forces immunity if they kill someone.

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