States Current Affairs - 2019

Current Affairs 2019-2020 of all States with latest updates. Current Affairs will list latest developments, issues in all states and may be useful for State PCS / Civil services examinations of various states of India.

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Curbs on civilian traffic on Jammu-Srinagar Highway

A government notification has stated that the national highway from Baramulla to Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir has been put out of bounds for civilian traffic twice a week till May 31. During this time no civilian vehicles will be permitted on the national highway on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Why the Ban is being implemented?

  • The ban is being implemented to facilitate the unhindered movement of security forces’ convoys and eliminate the possibility of fidayeen or suicide terror attacks during the ongoing Lok Sabha election process.
  • The ban on civilian traffic would be effective from Baramulla to Udhampur through Srinagar, Qazigund, Jawahar-Tunnel, Banihal and Ramban and would be in force on the two days from 4 am to 5 pm.
  • In case of any emergency requiring passage of a civilian vehicle, the police and administrative officials would take appropriate decisions in line with the provisions of movement of civilian traffic during curfews.

Recent Attacks

After the February 14, Pulwama terror attack targeting a CRPF convoy which had left more than 40 soldiers dead, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had announced that no civilian traffic would be allowed during the movement of the paramilitary forces.

Further, on March 30 in a suspected terror attack, a car had burst into flames after hitting a paramilitary forces’ truck, with the driver of the car having gone untraceable.

AFSPA withdrawn partially from Arunachal Pradesh

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) was partially removed from three of nine districts of Arunachal Pradesh but would remain in force in the areas bordering Myanmar.

The State of Arunachal Pradesh had inherited AFSPA since the day of its formation. AFSPA enacted by Parliament in 1958 and was applied to the entire State of Assam and the Union Territory of Manipur. After Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland came into being, the Act was appropriately adapted to apply to these states as well.

Controversial Provisions of AFSPA

  • Section 4 of the AFSPA empowers an authorised officer in a disturbed area with certain powers. The authorised officer has the power to open fire at any individual even if it results in death if the individual violates laws which prohibit (a) the assembly of five or more persons; or (b) carrying of weapons. However, the officer has to give a warning before opening fire.
  • The authorised officer is also empowered to (a) arrest without a warrant; and (b) seize and search without any warrant any premise in order to make an arrest or recovery of hostages, arms and ammunition.
  • AFSPA mentions that individuals who have been taken into custody have to be handed over to the nearest police station as soon as possible. There is no prescribed time limit for detention.
  • Prosecution of an authorised officer requires prior permission of the Central government.

Observations made by Various Committees

Justice Santosh Hegde Committee found four out of six deaths it was inquiring in Manipur have similar patterns of cause of death and could be cases of fake encounters.

Justice Santosh Hegde Committee report also concluded that AFSPA has not been able to achieve peace in the Northeast, and on the contrary, it has widened the distance between the people of these areas and the mainland.

J.S. Verma Committee (2012) and the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee (2005) have found the law arbitrary and have recommended the repeal of AFSPA.