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Every defence aspirant must know this about AFSPA

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Every defence aspirant must know this about AFSPA

Hello aspirants,

One of the common topics of lecturette and GD is AFSPA a.k.a armed forces special power act. This act is always in the news due to something or the other therefore it becomes an important topic.


  1. What is ASFPA?
  • Armed Forces Special Powers Act started in 1958, grants special powers to Indian Armed Forces to maintain public order in the disturbed areas (J&K, Northeast states)

  • The power given to the forces include the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in a city, can use force or even open fire after giving a due.

  • If reasonable suspicion exists, the army can also arrest a person without a warrant; enter or search premises without a permit; and ban the possession of firearms.


  1. How did this act originate?
  • The Act came into force in the context of increasing violence in the Northeastern States decades ago, which the State governments found difficult to control.

  • The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and the President approved it on September 11, 1958.

  • It became known as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958.


  1. What is a “disturbed area”?
  • An area can be declared disturbed if there exist differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.

  • The Central Government or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area.

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs usually enforce this Act where necessary and in some cases leaves the decision to the state government.

  • The areas include the whole of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur and parts of Arunachal Pradesh, and J&K.

  1. What is the controversy?
  • Many human right groups term this act as “draconian act” and oppose it as being aggressive.

  • Manipur’s Irom Sharmila has been one of its opponents, going on a hunger strike in November 2000 and continued her vigil till August 2016.

  • Her trigger was an incident in the town of Malom in Manipur, where ten people were killed waiting at a bus stop.

  • In 2018 Meghalaya was exempted from this act due to immense pressure on the government.


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DDE Editorial Team comprises of researchers & content writers. The source of write ups are individual researches, references, informants and documentations. If you wish to submit a write up or information please write to contactus@defencedirecteducation.com



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