In the wake of violent activities of the various terrorist outfits recently, the Manipur government has extended the 'disturbed area status' under the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) across the state, barring Imphal municipal areas, for another year, officials said on Wednesday.
A senior Manipur Home Department official said that the promulgation of "disturbed area" status provides sweeping powers to the army, para-military forces and various other security forces deployed in the state.
The Act has been in force in Manipur since 1980 and in several other northeastern states to curb terrorism and was extended from time to time.
Manipur's Special Secretary, Home, H. Gyan Prakash, in a notification, said that the Governor Najma Heptulla is of the opinion that due to the violent activities of various extremists and insurgent groups, the entire state is in such a disturbed condition that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil powers is necessary.
"The promulgation of the AFSPA would be effective for one more year with the retrospective effect from December 1," said the notification.
Besides Manipur, the AFSPA is also in force in Assam and Nagaland, and in the Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
Terming the Act as a "draconian law", renowned human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila of Manipur had fought for 16 long years till mid 2016 demanding repeal of the AFSPA.
Tripura is the only state where the AFSPA was withdrawn by the then Left Front government led by Communist Party of India-Marxist veteran and Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in 1998 after terror activities were tamed.