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Editorial

AFSPA and Delhi

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By EMN Updated: Mar 25, 2015 6:54 pm
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[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohmmad Sayeed said his government will ‘proceed with phased removal’ of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) ‘after consulting the Army as they have aired their apprehension over it.’ The J&K Chief Minister also said that ‘he cannot scrap AFSPA, which gives immunity from prosecution to the armed forces, in ‘one go’ but assured that it will be removed gradually.’
But given the mood of the government and also taking into account the state of affairs in the border regions particularly in the Northeast the words of Mufti Mohmmad Sayeed are likely to be proven hollow. (If AFSPA is repealed in J&K then the people in the NE will not keep quiet).The government of India kills several birds with a single stone by promulgating AFSPA in Kashmir and in the NE region.
Under the cover of AFSPA the Army is used by the government to ward off the foreign threats, albeit it is being used for counter insurgency operation. Indeed, AFSPA gives teeth to the Army in operation against militants but in the mind of the government it is not just the militants alone. Elements which have the potential to disturb the national security are categorized in the red lined book of the government. Because of which, in spite of fervent campaigns by human rights groups against the draconian Act, the world’s largest democracy shuts its eyes and ears to go on with this unconstitutional practice.
To drive home the point a simple logic can give the answer. The Maoists onslaughts in Central India are more catastrophic and have higher degree of human rights violation but the government would not promulgate AFSPA in those regions though certain armed forces are deployed to contain the trouble.
(AFSPA sanctions the Indian military to operate with impunity in the Northeast India and Kashmir. Prolonged operation of AFSPA has left a trail of most egregious human rights violations in these regions).
That is why no justifications, reasons and logics can convince the government of India to repeal the AFSPA from Kashmir and Northeast region. Let the threats perceived by India from China and Pakistan die. Let the situation in the world confirms India is the ultimate global power. Then only let us think of repealing the AFSPA.

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By EMN Updated: Mar 25, 2015 6:54:43 pm