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No change in Army stand on AFSPA in J&K

New Delhi: The Army continues to be against any move to dilute the AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir even though Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said he will proceed with phased removal of the controversial Act after consulting the force. "There has been no change in our position as far as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is concerned," Army sources said when asked about Sayeed's remarks. The Army has from time to time conveyed its apprehensions to the central government against any dilution of AFSPA. The Army feels that if AFSPA, which it terms as an "enabling Act", is partially withdrawn or diluted, there are chances that radicalisation and later even violence levels are likely to increase. AFSPA, which was enacted by Parliament in 1958 to tackle insurgency in the Northeast, has been described by civil rights activists as a draconian law which gives overarching powers to security forces with immunity. However, the Army's stand is that it is an "enabling Act" which provided the requisite legal safeguards for the carrying out effective counter-terrorist operations. According to available data, while over 120 people had infiltrated from Pakistan into the state in 2012, it had come down to less than 100 in 2013 and less than 60 in 2014. The number of killings by the government forces, however, has increased in the state. While over 75 militants were killed in security operations in 2012 and approximately 35 were apprehended, about 68 were killed in 2013 and this number increased to over 100 last year, signalling a substantive jump in successful operations. "The operations against infiltration and terrorists in the state have been successful. The only thing that Pakistan can now do is increase recruitment of disgruntled elements and radicalised youth from within the state," the sources said. PTI

Updated : 25 March 2015 6:37 AM GMT
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