'Hope Army protection will be ensured during AFSPA amendments'

"I am sure that there will be a mechanism to ensure the protection of the troops operating on the ground," GOC of 16 Corps Lt Gen J P Nehra told reporters here, on the sidelines of a school function, when asked to comment on the possible amendments to AFSPA.

Romeo Force GOC Major Gen KAS Bhullar, who was also present on the occasion said the primary task of the army is to defend the country's borders.

"But if you put Army on the Policing job, you have to give them powers of the police. They need powers to conduct searches, operations, make arrests and interrogate," he said.

"How can they they arrest a militant without a warrant. Till they get the warrant, he would have cross to another hillock," he said.

According to sources, the amendments to the controversial AFSPA aimed at making it "more humane", are likely to be placed soon before the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

Through the amendment, it is being proposed that arrest warrants are secured in advance and grievance cells set up to address citizens' complaints against the armed forces, the sources said.

By amending clause 4 (a) of the controversial Act, the government proposes to abolish the power given to forces which allows them to open fire causing death, they said.

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