On September 27, 2023, the Manipur government extended the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for another six months, covering the entire state except for 19 police stations in seven districts of the Imphal Valley.
- The “disturbed area” status under AFSPA will continue to apply to all the hill districts, which are predominantly inhabited by tribal communities. However, the act has gradually been withdrawn from valley districts since 2022 due to improved security conditions.
- Manipur has witnessed a resurgence of insurgent groups, primarily operating from Myanmar, advocating for the secession of Manipur from India. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating a transnational conspiracy by these groups to wage war against the government amid ongoing ethnic violence.
- Ethnic violence in Manipur between the Meitei and tribal Kuki communities has resulted in at least 175 deaths since May 3, 2023, marking one of the deadliest incidents in the state in years.
- The Manipur government is considering a “one district, one force” deployment strategy for enhanced security operations, given the presence of around 40,000 Central security forces, including the army, in the state.
- The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) grants extensive powers to the army and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in “disturbed areas,” including the authority to use lethal force, make arrests without warrants, and enjoy legal immunity from prosecution without the Union government’s sanction.
- AFSPA had been in effect in Manipur since 1981, and it also applied to Naga-dominated areas of the former Union Territory of Manipur since 1958. However, it has been progressively withdrawn from various areas in recent years.
- Both the state and Union governments can issue AFSPA notifications, with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs issuing notifications for Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, while Manipur and Assam notifications are issued by their respective state governments.
Q,: What is the current situation in Manipur that has prompted concerns about security and the resurgence of insurgent groups?
a) Political protests
b) Natural disasters
c) Ethnic violence
d) Economic growth
Ans : c) Ethnic violence