Putting up a spirited defence of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju on Tuesday said it was an essential instrument and the army was being demonised and made a scapegoat in Jammu and Kashmir.
Amid a raging debate over softening provisions of the Act, Raju said the AFSPA provided soldiers the necessary security blanket to carry out counter-insurgency operationas.
“The soldiers have an upper hand in warfare through this blanket, but it does not mean they have a free hand. There is zero tolerance towards the missue of the Act.” Raju said.
He said the unrest in J&K was linked to the aspirations of the people there.
The AFSPA gives the army powers to use force to the extent of causing death apart from searching premises and making arrests without warrants.