What is Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Which are the special powers given to Indian Armed Forces under AFSPA?

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What is Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)?
Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is an act passed by Parliament of India on September 11, 1958 which gives Indian Armed Forces special powers to maintain rule of law in disturbed areas.

What is Disturbed Area?
When there are disputes in area or in any particular part of state on basis of caste, religion, communities
and languages the Central Government or Governor of state or Governor of Union territories can declare that place as disturbed area. Once the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is implemented in that area, The Indian Armed Forces will have full control of that area for at least three months.

Which are the special powers given to Indian Armed Forces under AFSPA?

  1. Indian Armed Forces can prohibit gathering of five or more person in that area.
  2. Any suspected person can be arrested without requirement of warrant.
  3. Indian Armed Forces can enter and search premises of any house in that area without requirement of warrant.
  4. If any wrong activities are carried out by group or any person Armed Forces are given power to open fire after giving warning.
  5. Indian Armed Forces can destroy hideouts, destroy any arms dump or destroy any training camp from were attacks are made on Armed Forces.
  6. To stop and search any vehicle or vessel if found suspected of carrying weapons or suspected person.

Till date Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is operative in disturbed areas of North and Eastern states of India which includes Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur and Assam. The Act is also operational in three district of Arunachal Pradesh namely Changlang, Tirap and Longding.

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