Srinagar: Valley-based parties on Monday called for revocation of AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir in view of "civilians getting killed", while Jammu-based parties supported its continuation citing recent terror strikes in Kathua and Samba, with state Assembly witnessing a debate on the issue.
"We have some people calling for revoking the AFSPA and they want to begin from Kathua and Samba. The attacks have shown how vulnerable these areas are," National Panthers Party (NPP) member Harsh Dev Singh said.
Although the listed business for the Assembly was obituary reference for former legislators who passed away since Budget session, the Speaker allowed members to pay tribute to those killed in the incidents of violence in the state, including Kishtwar riots.
Singh said the situation is not conducive for repealing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from the state.
However, CPI(M) MLA M Y Tarigami countered Singh by saying that AFSPA was not needed as it had failed to prevent the attacks in Kathua and Samba.
National Conference MLA Sheikh Mustafa Kamal said the imposition of the act in the state needs to be discussed and reviewed.
"Army men are getting killed on the borders, police personnel are getting killed and civilians are also getting killed. What is this law doing? It needs to be reviewed," he said.
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti claimed that AFSPA was coming in the way of prosecuting army personnel involved in rights violations and state government was not even able to act against police or CRPF personnel involved in such incidents.
Dressed in army fatigues, terrorists had stormed a police station and then an army camp in Jammu region killing 10 people including an army officer in twin `fidayeen` attacks after they sneaked in from across the border last week.
AFSPA grants special powers to the armed forces in what the act terms as "disturbed areas".