Wednesday, February 21, 2024

J&K set to revoke AFSPA

The Jammu and Kashmir government has set in motion the process of revoking the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to strip the armed forces of their special powers in the terrorism-hit state, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Thursday.
Abdullah made this announcement while replying to a debate on the withdrawal of the AFSPA and human rights violations. The debate was initiated by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in the legislative assembly.
“We have started the process of revoking the AFSPA and Disturbed Area Act,” Omar told the house after members, mostly from the Kashmir Valley, demanded that the special powers of the armed forces be withdrawn and they be sent back to their barracks. “The first step has been taken with the replacement of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Srinagar,” Abdullah said, amid thumping of desks by treasury benches.
Earlier, PDP legislature party leader Mehbooba Mufti lashed out at the government for “perpetuating the reign of terror in Kashmir, where the people are being pulled out of their homes and killed…”
“This must stop,” she said, adding for this, the government must recall the special powers of the army and paramilitary forces and order them back to barracks.
“Nothing short of that would assuage the people of Kashmir,” she said.
The Armed Forces Special Powers Act gives powers to armed forces to carry out operations in disturbed areas. It was promulgated in Jammu and Kashmir in July 1990.
Army opposes
NEW DELHI, FEB 26 (AGENCIES): Terming Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s statement hinting at revocation of AFSPA in the state as “regressive”, Army has opposed any such move, TV reports say.
According to Times Now, Army sources have said that any move to revoke AFSPA by the chief minister in J&K would be detrimental to the security of the Valley and would provide a boost to the terrorists.
Earlier in the day, promising to work towards withdrawal of AFSPA and Disturbed Areas Act in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had said his government is creating conditions conducive for such a measure, PTI reported.
“My government is creating the conditions conducive for the withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the state,” Abdullah said in his maiden address to the Assembly after taking over as head of the NC-Congress coalition on January five.
“If the situation continues to improve the way it has been improving, the coalition government would work towards withdrawal of laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act and disturbed areas act in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said replying to the adjournment motion moved by opposition PDP alleging continued rights violations in the state.
Launching a scathing attack on People’s Democratic Party, Omar accused it of creating unrest among people by falsely implicating Army personnel in the recent murder cases, PTI reported.
The PDP motion came in the backdrop of days of violent protests in some parts of the valley against the killing of two youths in Sopore town of Baramulla on Saturday and of a 35-year-old auto-driver Shabir Ahmad Sheikh, a close kin of JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and brother of senior executive member of JKLF Mehraj-ud-Din, on Tuesday.

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