The Act, Armed Force (Special Power), 1958 was passed on 11 September 1958 to help the army to resolve the disrupted areas of Northeast India. AFSPA, 1958 is functioning in entire states of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (except Imphal Municipal Area), three districts namely Tirap, Changlang and Longding of Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of the 8 police stations in the districts of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the State of Assam.
The PDF of the act is as follow: Armed Force Special Power Act (AFSPA)1958
If we understand in general words, the AFSPA is a law which provides massive authority to Armed Force to maintain rule and order in the “disrupted area”.
The law gives the power to the armed force to prohibit the gatherings or meeting of five or more persons in that particular area. And the armed force also has the power to open fire on the unsimilar activity but only after giving a fair warning to the suspicious person, if any found.
Power to announce areas to be disturbed areas
By notification in Official Gazette the governor of the state or authority of the union territory or the central government of that area, is of the view that the whole or any part of the area is in such dangerous condition that the use of armed force in aid of civil power is necessary, may declare whole or part of that area to be disturbed area.
Special powers are given to the armed force
1. Arrest and search without a warrant, if any suspect found.
2. Armed force has the authority to prohibit the gathering of five or more person in that area.
3. And if necessary, to destroy any arms dumps or any structure used as a training camp for armed volunteers or utilised as a hide-out by armed gangs or absconders wanted for any offence.
Arrested persons to be made over to the police
If any person arrested or taken in charge under the Act shall be made over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station, in the least possible time, with the report mentioning the reason of arrest.
Protection to persons acting under Act
No suit or legal proceeding shall be set in motion, except with the previous sanction of the Central Government, against any person respect of anything conducted or claim to be done in the exercise of the powers authorised by this Act.
So the act, Armed Force Special Power Act, 1958 was made for the ‘armed force’ which include military force and the air force also managing as a land force and can also add any other armed force of the union so functioning.