Centre can repeal AFSPA: Kashmir government

AFSPA was passed in 1990 to grant special powers and immunity from prosecution to security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

Updated: Sep 03, 2011, 12:27 PM IST

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Sagar on Saturday said the state government can only "recommend" to the central government to revoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

"Though the state government can review the Disturbed Areas Act, the ultimate authority to revoke it lies with the centre," Sagar told a local news agency reacting to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram`s statement that this power lies with the state government.

Talking about removal of AFSPA in the state, Chidambaram had Thursday said: "Once the state government decides that the Disturbed Areas Act should go from a certain area, the AFSPA would automatically cease to remain in force there."

"I am in touch with the chief minister (Omar Abdullah) and he has to weigh the pros and cons and then decide when to do it," Chidambaram said.

AFSPA was passed in 1990 to grant special powers and immunity from prosecution to security forces while dealing with raging insurgencies in northeastern states and in Jammu and Kashmir. The act is a target for local human rights groups and international campaigners such as Amnesty International.

The Disturbed Areas Act seeks to further strengthen the powers of the authorities in suppressing disorder and maintaining law and order in an area.

IANS