Kashmir sets up committee to scale down security presence

"Sixteen bunkers will be removed from Srinagar. A committee will be constituted that will recommend areas to remove the Disturbed Areas Act where it is possible," state Principal Secretary (Home) B.T. Sharma told a press conference after the meeting.

Government sources here said that once the Disturbed Areas Act is removed from a certain area, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) would automatically cease to exist there.

A meeting will be held next month that would review the cases of people detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA), Sharma added.
Several youth have been held under this Act during the past three months of unrest in the Kashmir Valley.

The meeting was held close on the heels of the eight-point package announced by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to end the cycle of violence in the Valley.
The chief minister, according to sources, is eager to give practical shape to his promise of bringing down the presence of security forces in areas where the law and order situation has improved.

There has been a public outcry in the Valley during the last three months of unrest for repealing both the AFSPA and PSA, which are perceived by people here as harsh and stringent acts giving sweeping powers to the security forces and the administration.
The Kashmir Valley has been rocked by violence since June 11, that has seen at least 108 people, mostly youths and teenagers, killed in firing by security forces on stone-pelting street protesters.

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