Centre deliberates on diluting provisions under AFSPA
The Centre has begun deliberations on whether to dilute certain provisions of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) following opposition from various quarters.
Deliberations are taking place between officials of the Home and Defence Ministry on this subject. The government is considering either to dilute or remove some provisions in the Act following the ruling of the Supreme Court on extra judicial killings.
Sections 4 and 7 are currently under debate by the government. These sections give the forces far reaching powers and also legal safeguards while undertaking counter terror operations.
Under Section 4, the Armed Forces can search premises and carry out arrests without a warrant. The AFSPA is used extensively in the North Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir. The states have several times argued that the provisions are draconian and need to be dropped.
However the Defence Forces have said that the Act gives them legal safeguards and flexibility to operate while tackling insurgency in troubled states. The Act was first enacted by Parliament in 1958 to tackle insurgency in North East.