AFSPA Current Affairs - 2019
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The Supreme Court of India has ruled that army and paramilitary forces cannot use excessive and retaliatory force during counter-insurgency operations in disturbed areas declared disturbed under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958.
The verdict was given by SC bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on the plea filed by the Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM).
In the plea EEVFAM had sought a SIT probe into the killing of 1,528 persons by the Manipur Police and security forces since 1978.
Supreme Court Ruling
- The use of excessive force or retaliatory force by the armed forces of the Union or Manipur Police is not permissible.
- Criminal courts have the jurisdiction over cases of alleged excesses by security forces which earlier were under blanket of immunity provided by AFSPA.
- Armed forces should refrain from resorting to excessive fire power in counter-insurgency operations.
- When state uses such retaliatory force leading to death of people, it is referred to as an extra-judicial killing or an extra-judicial execution or as it is called administrative liquidation.
For more details: (i) AFSPA (ii) Analysis of AFSPA
The Union Government has launched National Green Highways Mission (NGHM), a plantation drive around 1500 km of National Highways.
It was launched by the Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi.
About National Green Highways Mission
- NGHM was launched under the Green Highways Policy, 2015 to provide a holistic vision of developing eco-friendly and green National Highways.
- The mission aims to provide a green canopy along 100,000 km of highways and create jobs for 1 million youth.
- It has been initiated to engage corporates, Public Sector units, Government organizations and other institutions for developing green corridor along National Highways through plantation and allied activity on median, avenue and other available nearby land patches .
- The funds for the mission will be met by Green Fund corpus which is 1 per cent of the total project cost set aside for plantation purposes
- Potential: The afforestation across National Highways is expected to help in sequestering approximately 12 lakh metric ton carbon annually.
- It will also generate jobs and can be a game-changer for agriculture and rural economy.
- In future, the mission will be linked with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.
Besides, the minister also launched ‘Adopt a Green Highway’ Program, ‘Kisan Harit Rajmarg Yojana’ and National Green Highways Mission Mobile App.
Kisan Harit Rajmarg Yojana: It is a pilot scheme to extend green belt beyond the existing ‘Right of Way’ of highways. It seeks to engage farmers and also provide alternative livelihood option to the nearby communities.