Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act

1 min read
Mains: Defence & Security
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act Blog Image


  • The AFSPA will be extended for six months in nine districts -- Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek, Peren, and Zunheboto -- and 16 police stations areas in four other districts -- Kohima, Mokokchung, Longleng, and Wokha of Nagaland.
  • It has been extended in certain parts of five other districts of the two northeastern states to facilitate the armed forces to continue the anti-insurgency operations.



  • It is a law which gives armed forces (Army, the Air Force and Central paramilitary forces) the special powers and immunity to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”. 
  • When is it applied?It can be applied only after an area has been declared “disturbed” under section 2 of the act. 
  • What is a Disturbed area? An area can be considered to be disturbed due to differences or disputes among different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities. 
  • Who declares an area as disturbed? Section (3) of AFSPA empowers the governor of the state/Union territory to issue an official notification declaring the state or a region within as a “disturbed area”, after which the centre can decide whether to send in armed forces. 
  • The ‘special powers’ of armed forces under Section 4 are: 
    • ‘Power to use force, including open fire’ at an individual if he violates laws which prohibit (a) the assembly of five or more persons; or (b) carrying of weapons. 
    • ‘power to arrest’ without a warrant; (Under section 5 the Armed Forces have to hand over the arrested person to the nearest Police Station “with the least possible delay”. 
    • ‘power to seize and search’ without any warrant any premise. 
  • These armed forces are immune from prosecution unless Union Government provides sanction to the prosecuting agencies. 


Source : All India Radio