Chandigarh, February 27
THREE AFFECTED BORDER DISTRICTS FREE OF ACT SINCE JULY 2008, RAJYA SABHA TOLD
A CEEDING TO a long standing demand 01 Punjab, the Union government has n moved the disturbed area tag from all districts of the state.
A notification categorizing the state as disturbed area was issued during the days of terrorism, giving special powers to armed forces and the local police to deal with the “serious law and order situation”.
The Union Ministry of Home’ Affairs Informed the Rajya Sabha on February 18 about Punjab being no more a “disturbed area”. The information was given after the issue was raised by Haryana member
Tarlochan Singh, who wanted to know the exact status of the state in this regard.
The Centre had declared all revenue districts of Punjab as “disturbed area” in 1984 under Section 3 of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1983. On March 9. 1989 the Punjab Disturbed Area Act, 1983, was additionally imposed on three border districts, Amritsar, Ferozepur and Gurdaspur.
While the Armed Forces Special Powers Act notification was withdrawn from the entire state on May 17, 1997, the three districts continued under the Punjab Disturbed Area Act.
Now the Centre has informed the Upper House that the disturbed area tag has been off the three border districts too since July, 23 last year.
According to a senior police officer, under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Army and paramilitary forces were protected from prosecution until a sanction was procured from the Central government. Under the Punjab Disturbed Area Act, the state police was granted similar protection.
The Acts also empowered the state to call in the Army or paramilitary forces as and when required. The legislations were imposed