Clamour grows in Jammu & Kashmir to revoke AFSPA

Clamour grows in Jammu & Kashmir to revoke AFSPA

Two days after Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar ruled out revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir, the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and Opposition National Conference (NC) on Saturday countered him.

Countering Parrikar's assertions, PDP patron and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said his government would “achieve its objective” with regard to revocation of the controversial act from the state.

“I know everything. I know what to do and what not to do. Whatever we have to do, we will do,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Mufti said though his alliance partner, the BJP, has divergent views over AFSPA revocation, the coalition government would examine the need for denotifying the Disturbed Areas Act (DAA) in the state.  The NC demanded immediate revocation of the AFSPA in J&K on the same lines as Tripura. It passed a resolution seeking the immediate revocation of AFSPA from the state.

NC additional general secretary Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal, welcoming the revocation of AFSPA in Tripura, demanded that the PDP-BJP government initiate a similar process in J&K.
“What can be done in Tripura can be done in J&K as well. While in opposition, the PDP always said the state Cabinet could revoke AFSPA if it intended. What's stopping Mufti now?” asked Kamal, uncle of former chief minister Omar Abdullah.

The J&K unit of the CPM, hailing the Tripura government's decision to revoke AFSPA, asked the J&K government to take the lead in pursuing the law's revocation from the state.

“There is a need for reassessment of the situation in the state. The decision of the Tripura government needs to be taken as an eye-opener for the political mainstream in Jammu and Kashmir, who have always voiced concern over the abuse of the act,” said CPM state secretary and MLA M Y Tarigami.

He remarked that there is a general feeling in Kashmir, and rightly so, that the families of the victims of incidents of gross human rights violations would get justice only after AFSPA is revoked.

Former president of state Congress Saifuddin Soz said AFSPA was not compatible with India’s democratic setup, that it act must go in phases.

“India has earned a big name for its democratic value-system which has kept India safe in many ways,” he told reporters.

Compulsion behind Tripura move

The Tripura government is being lauded across the country for its decision to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state, DHNS reports from Guwahati.

While the decision has been very well received in the state, where the Left Front has been in power since 1993, the buzz in the political circles is that the decision was more of a political compulsion rather than one fuelled by the security scenario of the state, the only one to be currently ruled by a Communist regime.

While militancy is on the wane in the state, over the past one year the Tripura government and the Left Front had faced a series of embarrassments following numerous scams that were unearthed there.

If party insiders are to be believed, the state Cabinet announced this decision now to take away the media glare from the scams and project a better image of the government.

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