Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts are the special powers grant to the indian armed forces in order to tackle any suspicious or disastrous situation in some part of indian territories. For the first time AFSPA was passed on September 11, 1958 and was applicable to the Naga Hills, then part of Assam. Later it spread to the other Seven Sister States in India’s northeast. Next one was passed in 1983 and applicable to Punjab and Chandigarh but it was withdrawn in 1997. In 1990 , it was applied to Jammu and Kashmir and has been in force since.
According to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), in an area that is proclaimed as “disturbed”, an officer of the armed forces has authority to:
☛ Fire upon or use other kinds of force even if it causes death, against the person who is acting against law or order in the disturbed area for the maintenance of public order but such action must be taken after warning .
☛ Act Authorizes to arrest anyone without a warrant who has committed cognizable offences or is reasonably suspected of having done so and may use force if needed for the arrest.
☛ Destroy any arms dump, hide-outs, prepared or fortified position or shelter or training camp from which armed attacks are made by the armed volunteers or armed gangs or absconders wanted for any offence.
☛ To enter and search any premise in order to make such arrests, or to recover any person wrongfully restrained or any arms, ammunition or explosive substances and seize it.
☛ Stop and search any vehicle or vessel reasonably suspected to be carrying such person or weapons.
☛ Any person arrested and taken into custody under this Act shall be made present over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station with least possible delay, together with a report of the circumstances occasioning the arrest.
☛ Army officers have legal immunity for their actions. There can be no prosecution, suit or any other legal proceeding against anyone acting under that law.
☛ Nor is the government’s judgment on why an area is found to be disturbed subject to judicial review.
☛ Protection of persons acting in good faith under this Act from prosecution, suit or other legal proceedings, except with the sanction of the Central Government, in exercise of the powers conferred by this Act.
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act main motive is to empower the Indian armed forces to guard and maintain peace along the disturbed area of Indian states. Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act always played a greater role to protect the innocent people from the clutches of terrorism. We have a lots of debate regarding the imposition of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in different parts of country but people need to understand that Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is for their safety only.
Irom Chanu Sharmila also known as the “Iron Lady” “Mengoubi” is a civil rights activist, political activist, and poet from the Indian state of Manipur who fought for the withdraw of AFSPA in Manipur. On 2 November 2000 she began a hunger strike which she ended on 9 August 2016, after 16 years of fasting. At last she had to withdraw her fast because one can’t challenged the safety of people. AFSPA is all about granting power to forces to tackle the unwanted situation and maintain the peace.
In the state of J&K many soldiers are deployed only for the protection of people of J&K. It might be possible that here we are reading this article and our brave soldiers might be fight for the nation. We all proud on our armed forces and thanks all of them for fighting ourselves to whom they might be not knowing but are ready to sacrifices their life for us.