AFSPA Current Affairs - 2020

Zo Kutpui Festival organised in Mizoram

The Mizoram State Government is organising Zo Kutpui festival across 10 states in the country and also in countries such as Myanmar, US and Bangladesh.

Highlights

The first edition of the festival is to begin in the city of Vanghmun in Tripura. The festival will then move to other states having Mizo population. By conducting such as festival, the Mizoram Government is trying to unify the Mizo population in the country and also across the world. The event will host performances of several Mizo tribes.

Mizo population

The Mizos are tribal people that are spread between Myanmar in the east to Bangladesh in the west. After independence, the Mizo people were governed by the Assamese Government. In 1952, a subsidiary government was created under Assam called Lushai hills, the now Mizoram. However, the Mizo people continued to demand freedom of independence to join Myanmar. The Mizo National Front (MNF) was created in 1961 to achieve independence of Mizoram. In 1966, the MNF created its armed wing and declared independence under Operation Jericho. The area was then declared disturbed and in 1967, GoI enforced AFSPA.

Mizo Peace Accord

After several negotiations of peace, in 1987, the Rajiv Gandhi Government signed the Mizoram Peace Accord establishing peace in the region.

Mizo Tribals

In India, the Mizo population is found in Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram. There are 12 Mizo clans identified. It includes Pawi-Lusei, Tlau, Khiangte, Hualhnam, Lai, Phaite, Renthlei, Hmar, Chawngthu, Pang, Ralte and Hualngo.

However, the three major Mizo groups are Lusei people, Lushai hills people and Chin people.In

Nagaland declared ‘Disturbed Area’ under AFSPA for 6 more months

Centre has declared entire State of Nagaland a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of 6 more months under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) with effect from 30 June 2019. The central government opinion was notified by Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Key Highlights

Background: AFSPA has been in force in Nagaland for several decades. On August 3, 2015 a framework agreement was signed by Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and central government in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi AFSPA but still even after it AFSPA was not withdrawn. This framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations in past 18 years.

Current Scenario: Central government declared whole of Nagaland to be a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months in exercise of its powers conferred by Section 3 of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 1958).

Government justified that area comprising entire State of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary.

About AFSPA

Background

On passing of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Bill by both Houses of Parliament and approved by President on 11 September 1958 it became known as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958. This Act came into force in context of increasing violence in North-eastern States of India decades ago, which State governments found difficult to control.

Powers Given: It empowers security forces to maintain public order in ‘disturbed areas’. If reasonable suspicion exists, Armed forces have authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area, can conduct search operations anywhere without warrant, arrest anyone without warrant, ban possession of firearms among others.

Where necessary Union Ministry of Home Affairs would usually enforce this Act, but n exceptions exists where Centre decide to forego its power and leave decision to State governments.

What is disturbed area?

It is one which is declared by notification under Section 3 of AFSPA. It can be invoked in places where use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.

Central Government, or Governor of State concerned or administrator of Union Territory (UT) can declare whole or part of State or UT as a disturbed area.