New Delhi, Non 15: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday slammed senior Congress leader and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram over his remark that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) should be amended during the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament. Swamy called Chidambaram's suggestion an idiotic one.
"It's an idiotic suggestion, and this is only going to help the terrorists and Pakistanis, and encourage them. We will not under any circumstance dilute the AFSPA, and if the militancy continues, we will strengthen it. We stand by our BSF jawans, CRPF jawans, and the military. Kashmir is an integral part of India. If you try to take it by force; we will use 10 times the force to suppress it," an ANI reported quoted Swamy as saying.
Former army officials said the soldiers would find it extremely difficult to function in the insurgency-affected areas if there is no AFSPA. Retired major general SR Sinho said: "There has been a huge hue and cry over Special Powers Act in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir. It is given to armed forces to carry out raids, arrest people, which are in normal circumstances, and this helps the army otherwise they will have to depend for every action of theirs either in Jammu and Kashmir or northeast for apprehending people right on the spot on emergency basis," according to the ANI report.
Why didn't Chidambaram do it as the home minister, his critics asked
He said the armymen would have to take support of the civil police if there is no special act and the latter might leak out operation, harming the army's mission. He felt removing the AFSPA would hit the army's morale in dealing with insurgency.
The former major general slammed Chidambaram saying he made the remarks to get a political mileage in the assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir starting November 25. He said Chidambaram himself did not do anything on this when he was the home minister but saying all this now because he is in the opposition.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju also criticised Chidambaram, saying his remark was opportunistic.