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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

AAP's Prashant Bhushan bats for lifting of AFSPA in Kashmir

None   January 06, 2014
First Published: 13:23 IST(6/1/2014) | Last Updated: 14:10 IST(6/1/2014)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Prashant Bhushan on Monday batted for the lifting of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it gave the Army immunity in cases of human rights violations while causing alienation amongst the people.

"It is very important for us to win the hearts and minds of the people and prevent alienation. For that, the first thing which needs to be done is to remove AFSPA, which gives Army immunity in human rights violations," Bhushan said in an interview to a TV channel.

Army's deployment for internal security purposes should be effected only with the consent of people, except in cases where the rights of minorities need to be protected, he added.

Bhushan, however, seemed to have moderated his earlier stand which had him reportedly favouring the separation of Kashmir if that was what was wanted by the people of the state.

He instead said that the separation of Kashmir Valley would be against the Indian Constitution and added that it may also cause harm to minorities like Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs who inhabit the state.

"Allowing the separation of Kashmir may lead to a problem where you have a separate state where minority rights are not protected by the constitution... Indian constitution protects minority rights," he said.

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