The twin terror attacks at Samba and Hiranagar in Kathua has brought the issue of repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the area -- as has been advocated by chief minister Omar Abdullah from time to time -- under the debate again.
While reports reaching here till going to the Press indicate that 10-12 were people killed in the attacks, the intelligentsia here has slammed the opinion of committing any misadventure with the Act that may have far-reaching impact as far as terrorism in the state is concerned.
"It is true that Omar Abdullah have been advocating in public only for the repeal of the AFSPA from the state, but he and his government, according to the union home ministry, unlike Manipur, never ever asked the Centre in writing to revoke the Act as a chief minister," said Hari Om, former dean, faculty of social sciences, Jammu University.
He added that the NC and Congress have been befooling the masses on the issue as both are directly responsible for promoting Pakistan's cause by saying that Pakistan like India is a victim of terrorism.
Hari Om rubbished the claim of the government that it is the non-state actors in Pakistan who have been conducting terror attacks to derail the peace process between the two countries and added that the fact is that Islamabad, Pakistani army, ISI and terror outfits like LeT, have been working in tandem for years now to bleed and dismember India.
He lamented that it is the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and the NC-Congress coalition in J&K, which are directly and indirectly promoting the Pakistani cause in Jammu and Kashmir by repeatedly saying that J&K is an issue that needs a resolution.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah has constituted two core groups comprising director general of police Kuldeep Khoda, home secretary BR Sharma, commanders of 15 Corps and 16 Corps separately to review the Disturbed Areas Act. While Khoda and Sharma were the common members, 15 Corps commander was member of panel for Kashmir while 16 Corps commander was member for the Jammu panel.
The regions under the consideration for revocation of the AFSPA were Samba and Jammu in Jammu and Srinagar and Budgam in Srinagar.
"This is a war being controlled from Islamabad. Either Islamabad gives up or is forced to do so, any misadventure with the AFSPA in the state would result into collateral damage for the whole of the state," said former DGP MM Khajooria.
He added that it will be very risky to touch the revocation issue in any sense as the propaganda generated quite often in the state that all is well is wrong and misleading.
A very different view came from Major General RS Jamwal (retd), who said he sees the terrorist attack and the repeal of AFSPA through two different aspects.
"These are two different things. The AFSPA is an Act put in place to guard the internal security of the state and does not have any connect with cross-border terrorism. This dastardly act is terror attack on the sovereignty of India and should be given befitting reply across the border," he said.
"By confusing AFSPA with the terror attacks, we are dividing our opinion," he said.