The disturbed area status declared under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, AFSPA, 1958 in Manipur has been extended for another six months with effect from April 1, 2023 except in the areas of 19 Police Stations in the State, a March 24 order of the state government said.
The order by T Ranjit Singh, Home Commissioner of the Government of Manipur said that violent activities of various extremist/insurgent groups warrant the use of Armed Forces in aid of civil administration in the entire State of Manipur except in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of the 19 Police Stations where the extent of the AFSPA had been removed previously.
The order however also said law and order situation in the state has improved and there is large sense of security among general public.
The order further stated that the condition prevails that there is need to review the area where the aid of Armed Forces to civil administration under the provisions of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for control of extremist and insurgent activities is required.
“Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (Act No. 28 of 1958) as amended from time to time, the Governor of Manipur hereby accords approval to declare the entire State of Manipur excluding the areas falling under the jurisdiction of the 19 Police Stations listed below as “Disturbed Area” for a period of 6 (six) months with effect from 1st April 2023,” the order added.
The nineteen Police Stations under which the Disturbed Area Status have been withdrawn are – namely, i) Imphal, ii) Lamphel, iii) City, iv) Singjamei, v) Sekmai, vi) Lamshang, vii) Patsoi, viii) Porompat, ix) Heingang, x) Lamlai, xi) Irilbung, xii) Thoubal, xiii) Bishnupur, xiv) Kakching, xv) Jiribam, xvi) Moirang, xvii) Nambol, xviii) Wangoi and xix) Leimakhong.
Earlier, the Disturbed Area Status was withdrawn from the jurisdictions of 15 Police Stations with effect from April 1, 2022.
The new four more Police Stations under which jurisdictions the Disturbed Area Status has been removed are i) Moirang, ii) Nambol, iii) Wangoi and iv) Leimakhong.
It may be mentioned that after long imposition of Disturbed Area Status in the entire State of Manipur, in August 2004 during Okram Ibobi led Congress government lifted the Disturbed Area Status from seven Assembly Constituencies of Imphal Municipal areas following massive public protests.
So far, 19 Police Stations in seven districts of Manipur have been removed from the Disturbed Area Status under AFSPA.