To get the army on its side regarding the revocation of Armed Forces Powers Act (AFSPA) from some areas of J&K, the state government is willing to give a written commitment that the law can be re-imposed if need be.
The offer would be made at a meeting of the Unified Command on November 9. The details would be shared with the cabinet the next day.
The AFSPA, which has been in force in the state for over a decade, empowers security forces to shoot at sight or arrest people without a warrant in areas declared “disturbed”.
The Centre had repeatedly told the state government that it could take an initiative regarding the revocation of AFSPA and the Disturbed Areas Act.
On October 21, following his discussions with Union home minister P Chidambaram, chief minister Omar Abdullah had announced that the AFSPA would be revoked in certain areas of the state.
But following the negative feedback from the army on the matter, the government has decided to make this agreement with the army.
The government will also give the credit for revocation of AFSPA to the army.
“This is on the lines of a deal the administration had worked out earlier with the army,” a highly placed source said.
Until October 19, there was a lot of progress on the matter. “Specific details were worked out regarding the procedure before a formal announcement was to be made,” he said.
But the chief minister’s announcement of October 21 irked the army. Senior army officers refused to meet the senior administration officials to discuss the matter further. Now, the government would try again to convince the army by renewing the package.