The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been extended for six months in Assam effective from August 28 after reviewing the law and order situation in the state, a government release said on Saturday.

The act which empowers security forces to conduct operations, arrest anyone anywhere without prior notice has been continuing in Assam since November 1990. The state government extended the AFSPA at a time when the final list of NRC was released on August 31. The declaration was made under Section 3 of the AFPSA by the state home and political department, the release said.

“Consequent upon review of law and order situation in Assam, in the past six months, the state government wide a notification issued to this effect by the Home and Political department, Assam and as per Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, has declared the entire state of Assam as ”Disturbed Area” w.e.f 28-08-2019 upto six months unless withdrawn earlier,” it added.

The Act was imposed in Assam in 1990 but it ceded its power in September 2017 and asked the state government to decide whether it should continue.

In April this year the ministry of home affairs removed AFSPA from three out of nine districts in Arunachal Pradesh. AFSPA was also removed completely from Meghalaya last year.  However, in July 2019 the ministry declared Nagaland a “disturbed area” and extended the controversial law for six more months.

The AFSPA is imposed in areas where armed forces are required to operate in aid to civil authorities. For the AFSPA to become valid, an area, however, needs to be declared disturbed either by the Central or the state government under the section 3 of the 1958 Act.

(With inputs from agencies)