The Assam government extended the "disturbed area" status of the state for another six months under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), from February 27.
"As per powers conferred under section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, the Governor of Assam has declared the entire state of Assam as 'disturbed area' up to six months beyond February 27, unless withdrawn earlier," reads the official release.
Though the reason behind the renewal of the act wasn't mentioned, reports allege that it is part of the impending state assembly elections for which hectic poll campaigns by various political parties are running the length of the state. Additionally, there are reports of arms and ammunition being recovered from some parts of the state. Meanwhile, the Jorhat district magistrate issued an order asking licenced owners of arms to deposit them at their respective police stations given the ensuing elections.
The AFSPA was renewed every six months after a state review since it was imposed in Assam in November 1990.
The act is still in force in Nagaland, Manipur (excluding Imphal Municipal Council Area), three districts and eight border police stations in Arunachal Pradesh. Civil society organisations and human rights activists in the region have been demanding the withdrawal of the "cruel act" in these states.