'Rejection of Justice Verma panel report on AFSPA unfortunate'
Jammu: PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today dubbed the rejection of Justice J S Verma committee's recommendation on AFSPA as "unfortunate" saying it reflected the double standards in the Centre's resolve to uphold women's dignity and rights without discrimination.
"We welcome prompt follow up action on Justice Verma committee report on crimes against women. But at the same time we regret the government attitude to recommendations on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) by the same panel", Mufti said while addressing a public meeting at Marh near here.
"This is clearly a case of double standards and reflects poorly on our national resolve to uphold women's dignity and rights without discrimination, which got a resounding expression recently in the wake of Delhi gang-rape" he said.
Mufti said Justice Verma's recommendations on bringing crimes against women universally under the jurisdiction of civil courts was a welcome voice and it could become the first step towards revocation of AFSPA which was introduced in totally different circumstances.
The government, on February 1 rejected a recommendation of the Verma panel on Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act that no sanction would be required if the armed forces personnel are accused of a crime against woman.
He said it was unfortunate that the Centre did not even discuss the recommendations which sends a negative signal to people of J&K and other states covered by it.
Stressing that AFSPA could not be a permanent feature of governance, Mufti said such laws were meant only for exceptional situations which no more exist in J&K.
Denial of the right to legal redressal is the antithesis of our great constitution and people of J&K, who have enthusiastically been participating in all democratic processes, cannot be kept on margins anymore for any reason.
"In that context, the decision to ignore the Verma panel recommendations could prove counter-productive" he added.
Taking a dig at National Conference-led coalition regime for its failure to fulfil its promise of revoking AFSFA for the last four years, Mufti said that PDP had never compromised its agenda for the sake of the power.
He said that PDP during its tenure had fulfilled the promises which the party had made with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in 2002 assembly elections.