Centre urged to implement recommendations of AFSA review bodies

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New Delhi, Aug 18 (UNI) The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today urged the Centre to implement the recommendations of Justice Jeevan Reddy Commission on the Review of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 as well as the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Committee headed by Mr M Veerappa Moily.

Putting forth this demand on the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Act by Parliament, Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR, said,''Fifty years have passed and dozens of armed groups have spurted across North East India and Jammu and Kashmir. The AFSPA has manifestly failed to contain any insurgency, instead, it has become the symbol of oppression and repression.'' ''The AFSPA cannot address conflicts arising out of controversies such as the one relating to the Amarnath Shrine in Jammu and Kashmir but the actions of the armed forces and impunity enjoyed by them under the AFSPA can certainly alienate the people further,'' he said.

He said the AFSPA empowers the Governor of a state to declare certain areas as ''disturbed'' against the expressed wishes of the State government.

He described AFSPA as a symbol of oppression and repression, and said the Act empowers non-commissioned officers to ''fire upon or otherwise use force, even to the extent of causing death, destroy any place or hide-out used including by absconders, arrest without warrant on mere suspicion and enter and search without warrant.'' The armed forces enjoy virtual impunity for the actions taken under the Act, he said.

UNI MMG AKJ HT1605

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