Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Engineer Rasheed, separatist Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and Kashmir Bar Association on Saturday opposed chief minister Omar Abdullah’s move to amend local laws to provide Armed Forces Special Powers-like powers to security forces, including the army, in the state.
“Any amendment to Ranbir Penal Code will be strongly resisted. The move will be much more disastrous for the human rights scenario because it will be a perpetual immunity to the security forces, while as AFSPA is a temporary one. The failure to remove AFSPA should not be brushed under the carpet by enforcing new law,” said Rasheed in a statement.
Claiming the move will “further eroded autonomy of the state”, Rasheed alleged Abdullah was trying to camouflage his failures. “To undo one wrong, the chief minister seems to be bent upon committing bigger wrongs without taking into consideration the sensitivity of the issues,” said Rasheed.
MLA Lanagte appealed to all the political forces to rise above the occasion and resist all moves that are detrimental for the people of the state.
The chief minister recently suggested replacing temporary Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) with a permanent law ensuring impunity to the armed and paramilitary forces in the state.
If amendments are made, no member of the Armed Forces of the Union shall be arrested for anything done or purported to be done by him in the discharge of his official duties except after obtaining the consent of the Central Government. Similarly, no courts will take cognizance of an offence committed by a public servant “while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duty” until a sanction was accorded by the Central Government.
In another press statement, JKLF, headed by Yasin Malik, termed the CM’s move as “exposing the real face of Abdullah”. “The move is a conspiracy against the people of Kashmir. To prove his loyalty to New Delhi, Abdullah is making AFSPA as permanent feature by making amendments to the Criminal Procedure code (CrPC),” said JKLF spokesman.
The Kashmir Bar Association has also taken notice of the move. “Once the amendment in CrPc is carried out it would create a permanent role for army and cover-up its operations,” claimed association’s spokesperson in a statement.
“The Bar Association shall resist such a sinister design,” said the spokesman.