06-26-2019     3 رجب 1440

AFSPA Must Go

April 11, 2019 |

Speaking at an event organised by a television news network in the national capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Armed Forces Special Power Act will continue in Jammu and Kashmir till the situation shows signs of improvement. Revocation of AFSPA is a long-pending demand of human rights groups who have documented several cases of abuses by armed forces against ordinary civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. Other than providing sweeping powers to the Army to make arrests and even kill people in disturbed areas merely on the basis of suspicion, AFSPA protects the armed forces from prosecution in human rights violation cases by civilian courts. While the ‘new age insurgency’ had pushed the talk of AFSPA revocation into oblivion, the issue grabbed headlines recently when the Congress in its manifesto for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 promised to review the need of implementing the legislation in Jammu and Kashmir if the party is voted to power. According to the Congress’s poll manifesto, the party will amend the law in cases where armed forces are found to be involved in “enforced disappearance, sexual violence or torture”. But in the middle of a high-fever election campaign driven by the themes of nationalism and patriotism, the Prime Minister and his party is in no mood to relent. Modi said the BJP-led central government has made major gains against Kashmir militancy and any party of individual who calls for revocation of AFSPA is sending out a wrong message. Since the BJP’s election agenda is driven by uber-nationalism and its ‘tough stand’ against the so called anti-nationals, the party’s election prospects will be dimmed if it is seen to be going ‘soft on terror’. However, while the AFSPA is a requirement for armed forces operating in the dangerous terrains of Kashmir, nothing should stop either the defence ministry or the central government to prosecute those armed forces who have been found involved in gross human rights abuses over the past three decades. The impunity given to the armed forces by AFSPA is abused by some men in uniform, which brings a bad name to the entire force. There are documented cases about how the armed forces killed civilians in Kashmir merely for an out-of-turn promotion, cash rewards, gallantry medals or all of them. These abuses have also produced immeasurable sufferings in Kashmir which lie at the heart of the raging conflict. While AFSPA may be a requirement given the stressful situation in Kashmir, the legislation has to go because it is not only unethical but inhumane as well.

AFSPA Must Go

April 11, 2019 |

Speaking at an event organised by a television news network in the national capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Armed Forces Special Power Act will continue in Jammu and Kashmir till the situation shows signs of improvement. Revocation of AFSPA is a long-pending demand of human rights groups who have documented several cases of abuses by armed forces against ordinary civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. Other than providing sweeping powers to the Army to make arrests and even kill people in disturbed areas merely on the basis of suspicion, AFSPA protects the armed forces from prosecution in human rights violation cases by civilian courts. While the ‘new age insurgency’ had pushed the talk of AFSPA revocation into oblivion, the issue grabbed headlines recently when the Congress in its manifesto for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 promised to review the need of implementing the legislation in Jammu and Kashmir if the party is voted to power. According to the Congress’s poll manifesto, the party will amend the law in cases where armed forces are found to be involved in “enforced disappearance, sexual violence or torture”. But in the middle of a high-fever election campaign driven by the themes of nationalism and patriotism, the Prime Minister and his party is in no mood to relent. Modi said the BJP-led central government has made major gains against Kashmir militancy and any party of individual who calls for revocation of AFSPA is sending out a wrong message. Since the BJP’s election agenda is driven by uber-nationalism and its ‘tough stand’ against the so called anti-nationals, the party’s election prospects will be dimmed if it is seen to be going ‘soft on terror’. However, while the AFSPA is a requirement for armed forces operating in the dangerous terrains of Kashmir, nothing should stop either the defence ministry or the central government to prosecute those armed forces who have been found involved in gross human rights abuses over the past three decades. The impunity given to the armed forces by AFSPA is abused by some men in uniform, which brings a bad name to the entire force. There are documented cases about how the armed forces killed civilians in Kashmir merely for an out-of-turn promotion, cash rewards, gallantry medals or all of them. These abuses have also produced immeasurable sufferings in Kashmir which lie at the heart of the raging conflict. While AFSPA may be a requirement given the stressful situation in Kashmir, the legislation has to go because it is not only unethical but inhumane as well.


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Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved.