The Assam government on Saturday extended the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in the state for another six months from August 28 without giving any reason.
The draconian law was first imposed in Assam in November 1990 and has been extended every six months since then after a review by the state government.
In a statement, the Assam government declared the entire state as a “disturbed area” under the 1958 Armed Forces Act.
Under AFSPA, a counter-terror law with sweeping provisions, security forces enjoy widespread impunity. AFSPA for instance grants the ‘powers’ to members of the armed forces in ‘disturbed areas’ to shoot to kill or arrest persons on the ground of ‘mere’ suspicion.
For the law to be imposed, an entire state or a part of the state would have to be declared a “disturbed area”. In Assam, after ethnic insurgencies broke out in the 1980s, “disturbed areas” were notified and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was imposed by the Union government.