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Explained: Controversial Law AFSPA, Back In Focus After Naga Op Killings – dot newz

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The AFSPA gives the armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”.

New Delhi:

The killing of Nagaland villagers in an Army ambush gone horrifically wrong has once again turned the spotlight back on the controversial Armed Forces (Special) Powers) Act of 1958.

On Saturday, 14 villagers and a soldier died in Nagaland’s Mon district after an Army op to track down insurgents went off script. A police FIR has said the Army’s 21 Para Special Forces “blankly opened fire”.

The chief ministers of Nagaland and Meghalaya, both allied to the BJP, are demanding that the Act be withdrawn.

“AFSPA gives powers to the Army to arrest civilians without any arrest warrant, raid houses and also kill people. But there is no action against the security forces. They have created a law and order situation,” said Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.

What is AFSPA

The AFSPA gives the armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”. It allows the armed forces the authority to use force or even open fire after warning a person who found to be in contravention of the law.

A “disturbed area” is one where the “use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary”. Under section 3 of the AFSPA, any area can be declared disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities. The power to declare any territory “disturbed” initially lay with the states, but passed to the Centre in 1972.

The Act also allows the forces to arrest a person and enter and search premises without a warrant.

The controversial law is in place in Nagaland, Assam, Manipur (excluding seven assembly constituencies of Imphal) and parts of Arunachal Pradesh, besides Jammu and Kashmir. Tripura and parts of Meghalaya were taken out of the list.

The AFSPA also protects security forces from legal proceedings unless cleared by the centre. In the context of the Nagaland violence and killings, there are concerns the centre will cite the law to protect the Army’s elite 21 Para Special Forces from investigation.

A murder case has been filed by the Nagaland police against the army unit, accusing the troops of “intent to murder”.

Its genesis

The law is based on the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance of 1942, which was issued during the Quit India movement. Post-Independence, it came into being in the backdrop of rising violence in the northeastern states, which the state governments found difficult to control.

It was enacted by Parliament in 1958, and first implemented in the northeast, and then in Punjab.

The Jeevan Reddy Committee formed in 2004 had recommended a complete repeal of the law. “The Act is a symbol of hate, oppression and an instrument of high handedness,” it said.

In 2016, in a rare intervention in a manner concerning internal security, the Supreme Court had ruled that the armed forces cannot escape investigation for excesses committed in the discharge of their duties even in ‘disturbed areas’. In other words, legal protection offered by the AFSPA cannot be absolute.

In these many years, not a single army, or paramilitary officer or soldier has been prosecuted for murder, rape, destruction of property.

The Army’s view is that soldiers and officers will be dragged to civilian courts and that frivolous cases will be filed against them if the law were to be repealed.

The AFSPA was repealed in Tripura in 2015, and in 2018 the Centre also removed Meghalaya from the list, while also restricting its use in Arunachal Pradesh.

The 1958 Act applies not only to the three armed forces but also to paramilitary forces such as the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Border Security Force.

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Shiv Sena, NCP To Contest Goa Assembly Elections Together – dot newz

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Mumbai:

Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have decided to contest the upcoming Goa Assembly elections together in alliance, Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut said on Sunday.

Speaking to ANI, Raut said, “Shiv Sena and NCP will contest together in Goa assembly elections. There will be a discussion on seat sharing on January 18. NCP’s senior leader Praful Patel will discuss seat-sharing formula in Goa on January 18. Only after that, it will be clear who will contest on how many seats.”

“Political dynamics are different in Maharashtra and Goa. NCP, Shiv Sena, Congress are in alliance in Maharashtra. However, at the moment Congress has decided to contest alone without forming an alliance with any other party in the state,” he said.

Goa elections are set to be held in a single phase on February 14. The counting of votes will be held on March 10.

In view of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Shiv Sena leader did not comment much on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s decision to contest from Gorakhpur.

“I will not make any comment on Yogi ji’s decision to contest from Gorakhpur. He has been fielded from his native constituency. So, it is a good thing. I have heard that Aparna Yadav is going to join BJP. It’s good to know,” he said.

Yadav is the daughter in law of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Meanwhile, elections for the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10, the Election Commission said. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7 in seven phases.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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“India Feels Proud”: PM Modi On 1 Year Of Vaccination Drive – dot newz

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the vaccination drive added great strength to fight against Covid.

New Delhi:

Lauding India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive as it completes a year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said it has added great strength to the fight against the pandemic and has resulted in saving lives and protecting livelihoods.

When the pandemic first struck, not much was known about the virus. However, our scientists and innovators immersed themselves in developing vaccines, he said. India feels proud that our nation has been able to contribute to fighting the pandemic through vaccines, PM Modi tweeted.

“I salute each and every individual who is associated with the vaccination drive,” he said, adding that the role of our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers is exceptional.

“When we see glimpses of people being vaccinated in remote areas, or our healthcare workers taking the vaccines there, our hearts and minds are filled with pride,” he said.

The prime minister asserted that India’s approach to fighting the pandemic will always remain science based. Health infrastructure is also being augmented to ensure that fellow citizens get proper care, he said, asking people to keep following all COVID-19 related protocols.

The countrywide vaccination drive against COVID-19 on Sunday completed one year, during which over 156.76 crore vaccine doses were administered.

According to Health Ministry officials, over 92 per cent of the adult population have received at least one dose while over 68 per cent have been fully vaccinated. The Centre will issue a postal stamp this afternoon to mark the completion of one year of the inoculation drive.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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“We Invite You”: Maharashtra’s Red Carpet For Elon Musk After Telangana – dot newz

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Elon Musk had said Tesla is “working through” a lot of challenges with the Indian government. (File)

New Delhi:

Another state has now invited US billionaire Elon Musk to invest after he said that electric car pioneer Tesla was “working through” a lot of challenges with the Indian government ahead of long-awaited plans to launch in the country.

After Telangana’s invitation earlier this week, a Maharashtra minister today offered Mr Musk a place to set up Tesla’s manufacturing plant in his state.

Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, in a reply to Mr Musk’s tweet, said, “Maharashtra is one of the most progressive states in India. We will provide you all the necessary help from Maharashtra for you to get established in India.”

“We invite you to establish your manufacturing plant in Maharashtra,” the Nationalist Congress Party leader added.

Earlier, Telangana minister KT Rama Rao had invited the Tesla Inc’s chief executive to set shop in his state and said that his government will be “happy to partner Tesla in working through the challenges”.

Mr Musk, in response to a tweet asking him about a potential India launch date, had not identified the “challenges” being worked on with the government.

Tesla had plans to begin selling imported cars in India last year and has been lobbying the government to lower import duties, which can be as high as 100 percent, on electric vehicles before it enters the market.

Elon Musk had tweeted last July that Tesla wanted to enter India “but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country”.

Even as Tesla is holding out for a cut in import duties, luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz will start assembling the electric version of its flagship S-Class sedan, the EQS, in India later this year.



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