The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will soon reconsider the home ministry's proposal to give the Armed Forces Special Powers Act a “humane face”.
“We have sent a fresh proposal to the CCS for amendments to the AFSPA,” a senior government official said, adding, "We expect the proposal to come up for consideration in a week or two."
Government sources said the proposal for the amendment, which is backed by home minister P Chidambaram, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah and several groups in the North-East, was important to the home ministry's attempt to bridge the trust deficit that exists not just with the people from J&K but also the north-eastern states.
The amendments seek to remove the explicit reference to the powers to non-commissioned officers to shoot to kill.
The CCS will consider the home ministry move in light of reservations expressed by the armed forces against any dilution, and the argument that the internal security establishment — the home ministry and state police — should instead remove the army from districts to the extent possible. “Since they do not need this law, central and state police forces should take over the security grid from the army,” an official said.