AFSPA, how long?

Published at August 15, 2017 01:28 AM 0Comment(s)3148views


AFSPA, how long?

In the alliance agenda, PDP and BJP the coalition partners had agreed to consider the revocation of the controversial AFSPA. While the document on almost all important matters has proved to be a debacle in itself due to their non implementation, the government has done itself a disservice by not paying any attention to the need of the hour. On AFSPA, the reprobation has never ceased, not only from the people of the state but from different bodies especially those which have observed gross human rights violations related to unbridled powers enjoyed by armed forces. The three member committee, headed by Justice Verma, which was set up to recommend amendments to anti-rape laws, in its report stressed on the need of reviewing the heinous law. The report recommended “There is an imminent need to review the continuance of AFSPA and AFSPA-like legal protocols in internal conflict areas as soon as possible. This is necessary for determining the propriety of resorting to this legislation in the area(s) concerned,” reads the report submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs. While the defence ministry  has been upping its ante with war-ridden statements aimed at patting the Army, it is the people of Kashmir that are feeling helpless and bruised. As a matter of fact when the committee recommended the review, among the persons to pick holes in former CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (in Opposition then), former Chairman National Commission on Minorities Wajahat Habibullah and Meghalaya Governor RS Mooshahary. Wajahat Habibullah described it as “against democracy and Constitution”, with “loopholes”; maintaining that the matter also needs to be discussed with the Army. RS Mooshahary advocated replacement of AFSPA with amended Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Mufti reiterated PDP’s demand to revoke the law. Then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also opposed the continuation of AFSPA in the state. The Army and the Defence Ministry (Union), however, have always disagreed on revoking the special powers and resisted all efforts by political leadership to review or consider its revocation partially or completely. Recently, Defence Ministry said about Army’s way of handling any situation and role of civil administration, is full of contradictions. On one hand the Army and the Ministry is not willing to entertain the points raised by the civil administration regarding the unbridled powers and on the other hand the minister claims that it is the civil administration that decides following which Army does the job its own way. It is time that civil administration rise to the occasion and tells Army how it has always felt about AFSPA.      

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