GoI Considering Removal of AFSPA From Parts of J&K
“A highly sensitive decision like withdrawal of the AFSPA from some parts of Jammu and Kashmir can be taken only at the highest political level of the government on the basis of a thorough assessment of the ground situation.”
NEW DELHI — The Modi-led government is considering the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 from some districts in Jammu Kashmir, India Today reported.
PM Narendra Modi may make an announcement regarding this during his visit scheduled later this month.
Areas in J&K were brought under the AFSPA in September 1990 through a notification issued by the then state government, declaring the Kashmir valley a ‘disturbed area’ under Section 3 of the law. It was only in August 2001 that the then state government extended the scope of AFSPA to Jammu province.
On March 31 of this year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced a reduction in the number of areas in Nagaland, Assam, and Manipur where AFSPA was in force.
As per reports, a decision in this regard was taken on the basis of the recommendations of a high-level committee constituted to examine the possibility of removal of AFSPA following the killing of 14 civilians in an Army operation in Nagaland in December last year.
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Meanwhile, a Times of India report quoted a senior Government official saying, “A highly sensitive decision like withdrawal of the AFSPA from some parts of Jammu and Kashmir can be taken only at the highest political level of the government on the basis of a thorough assessment of the ground situation.”
The AFSPA is now fully applicable in 31 districts and partially in 12 districts of four Northeastern states, namely Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh.
There has been speculation that to send a positive political message, the government, if it takes any decision, may first make an analysis of the security situation of Jammu city only.
“Any consideration on tweaking the AFSPA in the Kashmir valley is very unlikely,” the official said.
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