The Narendra Modi government on Friday granted powers akin to Armed Forces Special Powers Act to paramilitary force Assam Rifles in the border areas of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram. Assam Rifles can now arrest anyone, raid any place in the border districts of these 5 states without any warrant. According to reports, the powers that can be exercised by the paramilitary force are CrPC section 41, 47, 48, 49, 51, 53, 54, 149, 150, 151 and 152.
The Assam Rifles is the leading counter-insurgency force in the north-east and protects the India-Myanmar border.
Now under these aforementioned sections, what’s striking is the Section 41, which authorises the police officer to arrest any person without a warrant from magistrate and Section 47 that gives powers for the search of a place entered by person sought to be arrested.
Under Section 48 of the CrPC, a police officer may, for the purpose of arresting without warrant any person whom he is authorised to arrest, pursue such person into any place in India.
The Armed Forces Special Powers Act was enacted in 1958 to bring ‘disturbed’ areas declared under it under control, this act provides immunity from killing, searching of houses and destroying places used by the insurgents.
Earlier in 2018, the Centre had decided to withdraw AFSPA from eight out of 16 police stations in Arunachal Pradesh and totally from Meghalaya. It remains in force in the entirety of Assam and Nagaland, most of Manipur.