Kohima | Jagran News Desk: The contentious Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act, 1958 or AFSPA was extended in Nagaland by six more months by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). In a statement, the Home Ministry said that the Centre believes that the state is "in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that the use of Armed Forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.

"In 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 'disturbed area' for a period of six months with effect from 30 December 2021 for the purpose of the said Act," the Home Ministry statement read.

The use of AFSPA was under debate once again after the recent civilian killing in Nagaland in which 14 people lost their lives. Several politicians and local leaders had urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to revoke the act as the situation in the northeast state has vastly improved.

On Sunday, a high-level committee, headed by a secretary-rank officer, was also constituted by the Centre of examine the possibility of lifting AFSPA. The committee was set up three days after Shah held a meeting with Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Assam Neiphiu Rio and Himanta Biswa Sarma respectively.

Vivek Joshi, who is Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, was head the five-member committee while Additional Secretary in the Union Home Ministry Piyush Goyal will be the member secretary of the panel. Other members of the committee were chief secretary and DGP of Nagaland and DGP of the Assam Rifles.

The panel is supposed to submit its report over AFSPA - which empowers security forces to conduct operations and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. It also gives immunity to the forces if they shoot someone dead - within 45 days.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma