The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA was extended for six months in Manipur on Wednesday, except in 19 police stations falling under Imphal Valley and the area that shares border with neighboring Assam.
The state government took the decision after analyzing the prevailing law and order situation, an official notification said.
The notification read, “Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act… the Governor of Manipur hereby authorizes the entire Manipur except the areas falling under the jurisdiction of 19 police stations “AFSPA has been extended in the state for a period of six months from October 1, 2023.”
The police station areas where the Disturbed Areas Act has not been invoked are Imphal, Lamphel, City, Singjamei, Sekmai, Lamsang, Pastol, Wangoi, Porompat, Hangang, Lamlai, Iribung, Limakhong, Thoubal, Bishnupur, Nambol, Moirang, Kakchin and Zirbaam.
It is noteworthy that the areas which have been kept out of the purview of AFSPA are dominated by the majority Meitei community, which also includes Jiribam adjacent to the Silchar Valley of Assam.
With the extension of AFSPA, the Army and Assam Rifles cannot operate inside areas under 19 police stations without the consent of the state police.
Sources said security officials are advocating bringing the entire state under AFSPA so that they can easily ensure that the presence of terrorist groups within the Valley is reduced or eliminated.
Security agencies have been warning that banned terror groups United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Kanglei Yawol Kanba Loop (KYKL), People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) and KCP are setting up their bases in the state’s Imphal Valley.
Sources said they are also warning about the possibility of these terrorists joining the crowd during any protests to spread tension in restive Manipur.