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PC says ministry considering three amendments in AFSPA

Home minister P Chidambaram said his ministry is considering three amendments in AFSPA which will be discussed in Cabinet Committee on Security.

chandigarh Updated: Apr 11, 2012 11:47 IST
Tarun Upadhyay
Tarun Upadhyay
Hindustan Times
Union home minister P Chidambram,Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah,reviewed

Home minister P Chidambaram said his ministry is considering three amendments in AFSPA which will be discussed in Cabinet Committee on Security.

“The view of ministry that is three-amendments should be made in the Act and it will be discussed in CCS before making them public,” said Chidambaram in a brief interaction with media on Tuesday.

Defence minister AK Antony who is also a member of CCS is not supportive of either about revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) even from some parts of the State or making amendments in the Act, as Army has been consistently opposed to proposed move.

CM Omar Abdullah making a statement in the House last month had said that only Army is opposed to such move.

Though the Home Minister didn’t specify the amendments, however, sources said the amendments proposed are
a: taking arrests warrants
b: taking away the power of the armed forces to open fire causing death
c: setting up of a grievance redress cell.

According to clause 4(a) of the Act, any officer, even JCO, has the power to order firing after giving prior warning to maintain public order. Clause 4(c) of the Act gives power to arrest with warrant on ground of suspicion. The Army is opposed to proposed amendments.

“Terrorists don’t have permanent address and keep moving. By the time we get warrant, he would have moved to other district. Then how could be operate,” said a senior Army official.

The second objection of the Army is terrorist force people to make human shield for fleeing and even fire at security forces from the mob.

“Such a situation can’t be controlled in the absence of powers under the Act,” said Army official.

According to sources, the chief minister Omar Abdullah during a meeting with home minister discussed the issue of AFSPA, troops reduction and also report of Interlocutors.

Omar had said at the floor of the Assembly that Centre should make available the report to the public and called for its implementation.

Home minister on his arrival first visited Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, then held meeting with both the Governor NN Vohra and chief minister Omar Abdullah. He also had separate meeting with the chief minister.

Chidambaram also chaired a meeting to review security situation in the State which was attended by senior officials of state police and security forces.

He also shared his perception about security situation in a meeting with Congress leaders which was also attended by Pradesh Congress Committee president Saif ud-din Soz.

First Published: Apr 10, 2012 17:21 IST