New Delhi/Bhopal: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday lashed out at Congress leader P Chidambaram over his comment that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) should be amended during the Winter Session of Parliament, saying it was an idiotic suggestion.
"It's an idiotic suggestion, and this is only going to help the terrorists and Pakistanis, and encourage them. We will not under any circumstance dilute the AFSPA, and if the militancy continues, we will strengthen it. We stand by our BSF jawans, CRPF jawans, and the military. Kashmir is an integral part of India. If you try to take it by force; we will use 10 times the force to suppress it," said Swamy.
Meanwhile, Major General (retired) SR Sinho said the Army won't be able to function in insurgency-hit areas if there is no AFSPA.
"There has been a huge hue and cry over Special Powers Act in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir. It is given to armed forces to carry out raids, arrest people, which are in normal circumstances, and this helps the army otherwise they will have to depend for every action of theirs either in Jammu and Kashmir or northeast for apprehending people right on the spot on emergency basis," said Major General Sinho.
"They will have to take the support of the civil police and civil police normally they may leak out information, operations may not be such, that is why this special powers act has been given. And in fact Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, and northeast people have been opposing it and I think it is still continuing which is good for the Army and its morale. If this is removed, the army's morale will tremendously go down especially in Jammu and Kashmir, where there is very active insurgency going on," he added.
He also lashed out at Chidambaram for purposely making such comments to gain benefit in the upcoming Assembly Elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
"As the elections are coming in Jammu and Kashmir, so that is why Chidambaram is doing so. He himself as home minister at one time didn't do all these kind of things, so why is he talking about it now, because he is in the opposition, because the elections are coming in the state. This is the main reason and the politicians always do this kind of thing," Major General Sinho said.
Chidambaram, who yesterday welcomed the Army's decision to grant life sentence to five personnel in Machil fake encounter case in Jammu and Kashmir, had called AFSPA an "obnoxious law", and said that it has no place in a modern, civilised country.
He had also asked the BJP government to bring a bill to amend AFSPA in the Winter Session of Parliament.