• The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 comes into play when the government declares a particular part of NE or J&K as a “disturbed area”.
  • The prolonged hunger strike of Irom Sharmila in Manipur.
  • Arguments Against the AFSPA
    1. Against Article 3 (Right to Life) of the UN Declaration on Human Rights and also against United Nations Convention on Human Rights → India is a signatory
    2. Draconian Law in our progressive society:
      • AFSPA has been questioned largely because of numerous human rights violations due to its draconian provisions.
      • Section 6 of the act says that a government officer cannot be prosecuted unless previous sanction from government is sought.
      • It also enables the armed forces to fire upon or use force against any person acting against the law.
  • Arguments in Favour:
    1. National security in disturbed areas:
      • Areas of J&K and North East are highly disturbed and harbor terrorist, criminal and secessionist groups that impact the security of that region and rest of India.
    2. Effective operation of Armed forces only possible with provisions of the act.
  • Government Steps
    1. The government has made clear that security forces must fire only after they are clearly convinced of weapons or explosives in hands of the other party.
  • Suggestions
    1. BP Jeevan Reddy Committee: Recommended the amendment of the AFSPA section 6