The Bold Voice of J&K

AFSPA removal?

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The Supreme Court on Friday took the first step towards scraping of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Manipur as it dismissed the Centre’s stand that application of the law, which buffers the army against prosecution, was necessary to help the forces deal with the war like situation in the state arising from insurgency. The Centre had contended that the AFSPA was enacted and amended keeping in view the hostile environment and the imperative to give legal and logistic protection to armed forces personnel so as to enable them to operate with required thrust and drive. It also said that here is a constant threat from armed militant groups and therefore a need for counter-insurgency operations through armed forces in conjunction with the civil administration. The Bench wondered whether the 60-year run of AFSPA in Manipur had served the purpose of restoring normalcy in the state which was declared a disturbed area in 1958. Whereas in Jammu and Kashmir army operating under this Act has been facing a two-point threat from across the Line of Control which has vitiated the security environment. On the terror situation in the strife-torn State the scenario was under control and infiltration levels had been brought down. Though political parties have been demanding the revocation of the Act time-to-time army has stuck to its ground keeping the volatile situation. As long as borders remain disturbed the Act will remain and the Centre has made it clear that the Act is going to remain. Today the rate of violence in Jammu and Kashmir has not come down where as Tripura is safe and calm. A key difference between the two states is good administration provided by the state government of Tripura. So the Apex Court taking the first step for revocation of the Act from Manipur sounds logical. As far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned unless and until the situation becomes normal there cannot be any change in stance on the Act for which to some extent people too are responsible.

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