The controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives extraordinary powers to security forces, is set to be withdrawn from four districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Official sources told HT that AFSPA will be revoked from two districts in Kashmir, Srinagar and Budgam, and two in the Jammu region, Samba and Jammu.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah has constituted two core committees comprising four members to review the Disturbed Area Act (DAA) in these districts. This is seen as a precursor to lifting AFSPA from these areas.
Director general of police Kuldeep Khoda and home secretary BR Sharma will be common members, while commander of 16 Corps Lt Gen JP Nehra and commander of 15 Corps Lt Gen SA Hasnain will be members to review the DAA in Srinagar and Budgam only.
Earlier this month, HT was the first newspaper to report that a decision on AFSPA is likely to be taken soon. After the report was published, Abdullah issued a statement that the Act will be revoked from certain areas of the state.
The AFSPA was invoked in Kashmir valley and in some areas of Jammu division in 1990 after militancy erupted in the state. It was extended to all districts in 2001.