Govt to revoke AFSPA Act, reduce troops in J&K: Amit Shah

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Centre is planning to revoke the controversial AFSPA Act and pull back some troops from Jammu and Kashmir. With Lok Sabha elections approaching, Amit Shah also said that the government will leave law and order to the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

In an interview with Jammu and Kashmir-based Gulistan News, the BJP leader said, “We have plans to pull back troops and leave law and order to the Jammu and Kashmir Police alone. We are strengthening the police, who are at the forefront during the encounter…We will definitely consider this proposal (revoke the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. The situation is being normalized”.

According to Shah the troops will move gradually from the union territory and go to the barracks. The government has designed a seven years blueprint, Shah added. The AFSPA gives armed forces personnel, operating in disturbed areas “special powers” like arresting individuals they find suspicious, and doing encounters if they deem it necessary for the maintenance of “law and order”. An area or district is notified as disturbed under the AFSPA to facilitate the operations of the armed forces

The Union Home Minister also told in the interview that under the garb of Article 370, the youth were “pushed down the path of terrorism” in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is marching ahead with “peace” since its abrogation nearly five years ago.

After Shah’s statement, two former ministers of Jammu and Kashmir welcomed the proposed revocation of AFSPA but expressed fears that it might be just a poll promise the BJP. Former chief minister and National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah said the promise of revoking the AFSPA has been made in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls while PDP president Mehbooba Mufti hoped it would not be a “Jumelbaazi” like the BJP promise of providing two crore jobs in the country every year.

Image courtesy of X@AmitShah

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