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Tripura Lifts AFSPA After 18 Years
May 29, 2015

The Tripura Government lifts Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) from the state, where the law was in effect for the last 18 years to curb insurgency. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is also the Home Minister of the state said, "We have reviewed the situation of the disturbed areas of the state after every six months and also discussed the issue with the state police and other security forces working in the state. They suggested that there is no requirement of the Act now as the insurgency problem has largely been contained.”

  • This Act was imposed in the state on February 16, 1997 following spurt of violence by the militant groups.

  • When the Act was imposed there were only 42 police stations and two-third of the entire police station areas were under this act. Gradually the coverage of the Act was reduced with the improving situation.

  • At present AFSPA was in fully operational in 26 police stations areas and partially in four police station areas out of 74 police stations and 36 out posts of Tripura. 

History of AFSPA

  • On August 15, 1942, Lord Linlithgow, the Viceroy of India, promulgated the Armed Forces Special Powers (Ordinance) to suppress the Quit India Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi a week earlier.

  • Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and most leaders of the Indian National Congress were imprisoned under this Act.

  • A few years after independence, in 1954, the Nagas began an insurgency for independence.

  • The Indian Government responded by sending Indian army soldiers and paramilitary force from the Assam Rifles to crush the rebellion.

  • To further arm his counter-insurgents and provide them with legal protection, Parliament passed the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (1958).

  • The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) was preceded by the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Ordinance 1958.

  • The Ordinance gave the armed forces certain special powers in the 'disturbed areas' of Manipur and Assam.

  • It was replaced by AFSPA on September 11, 1958. Currently, AFSPA is applicable to the seven states of the North-East—Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura.

  • In the backdrop of the growing insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, the Central government issued a similar enactment known as the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990.


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