J&K: Formal discussion over AFSPA on Nov 9

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Omar Abdullah
Jammu, Nov 5: The Jammu and Kashmir government will hold a crucial meeting of the Unified Command on Nov 9 to discuss the controversial Armed Force Special Power Act (AFSPA).

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Union Home Ministry are in support of revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from some parts of the state, which has been in force for more than 21 years in the state. But the army and defence ministry are against the revocation of AFSPA as it might increase the risk in anti-insurgency operation in the state.

State ruling National Conference Party is strongly supporting for AFSPA's removal, but alliance partner Congress has expressed unhappy at not being consulted on the issue. The state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz articulated the anger of his party, saying the Congress has not been consulted on the issue.

The crucial meeting is likely to discuss the proposals of army and the state government on AFSPA revocation. As far the Army suggestion, Army should be removed from some parts of the state while retaining AFSPA. It suggests Police and Para-military forces take charge of those areas but permit the Army to enter whenever required. Same arrangement is currently force in Assam.

According to the government proposal, removal of AFSPA from select police station areas in the state while retaining provisions of the AFSPA provision around the Army garrisons and installations. The government says that propasal will give the Army immense powers to deal with the emergency. But, Army is not ready to accept the proposal saying the proposed arrangement is not practically possible.

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