AFSPA revoked from Meghalaya, pared in Arunachal Pradesh

The Union Home Ministry has removed the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from Meghalaya and reduced to eight the number of police stations under the Act in Arunachal Pradesh, an official said on Monday. "was totally withdrawn from all areas of Meghalaya from April 1. In Arunachal, it is down from 16 police stations to eight," the official said. The Act has however been extended by another six months in three eastern districts of -- Tirap, Longding and Changlang -- which border Myanmar and specific areas under eight police stations of seven other districts bordering Assam. The three districts have been under the since January 2016. The Act was withdrawn from in 2015 and in past one year, fewer areas in the Northeast are under the Act, the official said, adding that the Act was only in place in Meghalaya for a 20-km area along the Assam border) and not in operation in Mizoram.
gives powers to the Army and central forces deployed in "disturbed areas" to kill anyone acting in contravention of the law, arrest and search any premises without a warrant and provide cover to forces from prosecution and legal suits without the Central government's sanction.
Top 10 developments on the removal of from Meghalaya and restrictions on Arunachal
1. removed from Meghalayawas removed from Meghalaya and the number of police stations under its ambit was reduced to eight in Arunachal Pradesh, an official said on Monday. "was totally withdrawn from all areas of Meghalaya from April 1. In Arunachal, it is down from 16 police stations to eight.
2. Foreigners can travel to Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur unrestricted: Foreign tourists, except those from Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, would now be allowed to visit some of the most pristine locations of the country which, so far, were out of bounds for them without a special permit, officials said today. The Home Ministry has decided to relax the six-decade-old Protected Area Permit regime from Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur for five years with effect from April 1, a ministry official said.

3. Previous guidelines for foreign tourists: As per the guidelines, a foreign is not normally allowed to visit a protected or restricted area unless the government is satisfied that there are extraordinary reasons to justify his or her visit.
Every foreigner, except a citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in a protected or restricted area, is required to obtain a special permit from a competent authority having the power to issue such permits.
In cases, where the power to issue such permits has not been delegated to a subordinate authority by the Union government, the application for the special permit has to be referred to the Home Affairs Ministry for prior approval, at least eight weeks before the date of the expected visit.
4. States that are under Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order: Under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between the Inner line and the International Border of some states were declared as protected areas. The protected areas currently include whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim, besides parts of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. Some parts of Sikkim fall under the protected area regime while others under the restricted area.
5. Which other states are under right now?
Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (except the Imphal municipal area), (some districts plus a 20-km belt bordering Assam) and Jammu and Kashmir.
6. Why is this required?
The government (either the State or Centre) considers those areas to be ‘disturbed’ “by reason of differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.”
7. Is the Act uniform in nature?
No. Originally, it came into being as an ordinance in 1958 and within months was repealed and passed as an Act. But, this was meant only for Assam and Manipur, where there was insurgency by Naga militants. But after the northeastern states were reorganized in 1971, the creation of new states (some of them union territories originally) like Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and paved the way for the Act to be amended, so that it could be applied to each of them. They may contain different sections as applicable to the situation in each state.
8. Rights groups in the north-east and Jammu and Kashmir have been demanding the withdrawal of the as they claim the law gives "sweeping powers" to the security forces to act against civilians.
9. The was not withdrawn from Nagaland even after a framework agreement on peace was signed in August 2015 by the Naga armed group NSCN-IM and the government.
10. Military and intelligence assessments have strongly indicated that insurgency has been wiped out from and Mizoram, and there has been a marked improvement in the security situation in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Manipur, said the Home Ministry official who asked not to be identified.
On Saturday, several persons were injured after the police fired tear gas shells in Imphal East district to control the crowd protesting against a decision of the state government to shift a hospital from Sagolmang to another constituency.
The Police on Saturday raided several houses in Khundrakpam area and arrested two activists S. Inao and Laishram Bijen from their houses for spearheading agitations against the shifting of the hospital to Keirao.
"Congress member T Lokeshor was elected from the Khundrakpam constituency. For political reasons, the government tried to shift the hospital to Keirao where member L Rameshower was elected," said an activist.



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