Differences in govt could delay AFSPA amendment

Differences on the proposed amendment in the controversial AFSPA seem to be persist between the Ministries of Defence and Home.

New Delhi: Differences on the proposed
amendment in the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers)
Act (AFSPA) seem to be persist between the Ministries of
Defence and Home and the government is unlikely to table the
bill to this effect in the Winter Session of Parliament.

Highly placed sources said today that Defence Ministry has
strong reservations over certain proposed provisions of AFSPA
and has contended that if these come into effect, it would
leave the army severely handicapped to operate in troubled
areas like the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir.
The army has conveyed its apprehensions to the Ministry
that replacing AFSPA or any dilution could hamper its
operational capabilities to effectively deal with militancy
and insurgency.

"Despite best efforts, the Home Ministry has not been able
to remove the apprehensions of the army brass and hence the
delay. We don`t think the amendment bill will be tabled in the
Winter Sessions of Parliament," a source said.

Home Minister P Chidambaram is also understood to have
tried to allay the apprehensions of the army on the AFSPA
while addressing top commanders of the armed forces at a
meeting here today.
Last month, Chidambaram had said a fresh attempt was being
made to build consensus within the government to amend AFSPA.

PTI

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