J&K interlocutors recommend review of AFSPA
New Delhi: The interlocutors' report on Jammu and Kashmir has recommended review of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state and said the Defence Ministry needs to consider how to respond "positively" to the issue.
The 176-page report of the interlocutors--Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M M Ansari--which was made public today, also suggested decrease in the presence of security forces from residential areas and vacation of properties used by them to pave way for locals to carry out socio-economic activities.
The report sought amendments in the Public Safety Act (PSA) which gives sweeping powers to security forces to detain people on grounds of propagating or attempting to create feelings of enmity or hatred or disharmony in the state.
"The group's impression is that AFSPA is more the symbol of a problem than its cause. But symbols are important for peace processes, and thus the Ministry of Defence needs to consider how to respond positively to this issue rather than negatively...
"Security arrangements, especially in relation to the Disturbed Areas Act (DA) designation, need to be reviewed and a decision taken on AFSPA. The PSA should be amended," the report recommended.
It suggested improvements in police-community relations and "rationalisation of security installations through reducing their spread to a few strategic locations and creating mobile units for rapid response."