Role Of Armed Forces Special Powers Act
Government, State Government and Indian Armed Forces are divided on the issue. The top political leaders in Kashmir are demanding the withdrawal of AFSPA because there have been accusations that the Armed Forces have misused the powers and have committed human rights violation in the garb of42collateral damage during anti-militancy operations. The State Government has further suggested that the Act should be diluted or removed from the parts of J&K.
The Home Ministry also wants the Act to be removed from the parts of the state where the militancy related violence has reduced. In a seminar on Kashmir on Jan 14 at the Jamia Millia University, Delhi, the Home Secretary of India Shri G k Pillai made the following statement, “Why can’t the State Government take a decision, take a leap of faith and notify all the J&K or parts of it are not disturbed now? The AFSPA applies to the areas which the State Government notifies as disturbed.
If the area is no longer disturbed, the AFSPA doesn’t apply”.But the Defence Ministry is opposed to this idea because it feels that the Act is a “necessary blanket” which the Indian Armed Forces require to fight militancy.The Armed Forces Special Powers Act is applicable in ‘disturbed areas’ which are notified by the Central and State governments from time to time. It provides certain powers to the security personnel’s while working in these areas. But the Act is highly controversial in nature and is in the limelight since its inception. It is applicable to all the security personnel’s operating in the same area.
But the understanding of such legal aspects is different amongst the various forces. A proper synergy between the various security agencies will help in better understanding of such legal issues.43
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