CPM backs Omar on AFSPA withdrawal

CPI-M supported J&K CM Omar Abdullah on the issue of removal of AFSPA from parts of the state.

New Delhi: CPI-M on Sunday supported Jammu and
Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on the issue of removal
of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from parts of the
state, saying the "draconian law" be repealed and replaced by
suitable legislation for the Army.

"The AFSPA be withdrawn from those areas in Jammu and
Kashmir where militant activity has ceased and the Army is no
more deployed," CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat told
reporters in reply to a question.
The Central Committee of CPI(M) discussed the AFSPA
issue at its three-day conclave that ended here today.

"The Central Committee reiterates its stand that the
AFSPA be repealed as it is a draconian law which violates the
fundamental rights of citizens. In place of the AFSPA,
suitable legislation can be enacted to enable the army to
operate in civilian areas when required," Karat said.
Abdullah has been making this demand while the Army is
opposed to it. The latter fears there will be a slew of cases
against it once the AFSPA is removed.

The Act gives the armed forces immunity on several
counts in the area where it is imposed.

Karat said the AFSPA issue was discussed in an
all-party meeting earlier and a political delegation was sent
to the states where AFSPA has been imposed. He rued that even
after a year since the review of AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir
was decided, no action has been taken by the government so
far.

PTI