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Impose AFSPA in Garo Hills: Meghalaya High Court

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The Centre is likely to move the Supreme Court against a Meghalaya high court order asking it to impose the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 and deploy the Army and paramilitary forces in insurgency-hit Garo Hills.

AFSPA

The imposition of AFSPA  :

For the purpose of enabling the civil authorities in the state to effectively deal with militancy so that there is a regime of rule of law.

  • The Court observed that Central government can enforce AFSPA in Garo Hills region in order to deploy armed forces to aid of civil administration to restore public order and maintain the law and order.
  • Meghalaya state is witnessing a rise in number of militancy incidents in the region especially in Garo Hills including abduction of a Megahalya Government Officials by Garo National Liberation Army militants.

The order was issued by

A full 3 bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Uma Nath Singh, Justice T N K Singh and Justice S R Sen while hearing on pending cases of militants calling bandhs in the state.

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 :

  • 1958 Empowers armed forces to deal effectively in ‘Disturbed Areas’ declared by both state and Central government.
  • Parliament had enacted it in 1958 to provide special legal security to the armed forces for carrying out operations in the troubled areas of 7 sisters states of North east.
  • The act was extended to Jammu and Kashmir in 1990 in order to confront the rising insurgency in the area. The act provides army officers and jawans legal immunity for their actions undertaken disturbed areas.

Key points :

  • Meghalaya CM : Mukul Sangma
  • Meghalaya Governor : Shanmuganathan
  • Meghalaya Capital : Shillong