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The Assam government has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 in four districts for six months from April 1. The state government’s political department issued a notification, stating that the ‘Disturbed Area’ tag under the AFSPA has been extended in areas covering Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo and Sivasagar districts.

The Assam Police had submitted a report, asserting that there was an improvement in the law and order situation in the state, barring one militant organisation being active in the four districts.

The state government’s home and political department submitted a proposal to this effect to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, which, after due consideration, decided to maintain the ‘status quo’ regarding ‘disturbed area’ for an additional six-month period, an official said.

Subsequently, the state government, acting on the directive of the Centre, extended the Act till September 30, 2024, he said.

The Act empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. It also gives a certain level of immunity to the security forces in case of misplaced operations.

The Act was last extended on October 1, 2023, for six months ending on March 31.

During the last extension, the AFSPA was withdrawn from Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao.

Earlier, the Act was withdrawn from April 1, 2022 from the entire state of Assam, barring nine districts and a sub-division of Cachar district.

The state was declared a ‘disturbed area’ under the AFSPA in November 1990 and it was periodically extended for six months since then.