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Fear of consequences needed to stop AFSPA misuse: Omar Abdullah

Saturday, 8 March 2014 - 2:22pm IST | Place: Amphala (Jammu and Kashmir) | Agency: PTI
There is a need to build a "fear of consequences" within laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) so that they are not misused by the Army, feels Jammu and Kashmir Chief Omar Abdullah.
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There is a need to build a "fear of consequences" within laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) so that they are not misused by the Army, feels Jammu and Kashmir Chief Omar Abdullah.

Talking on wide-ranging issues here today at the two-day India Today conclave, Omar also dismissed suggestions mainly coming from Army that withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan will have bearing on Kashmir's internal security.

The Chief Minister, who has been advocating partial withdrawal of AFSPA from areas more peaceful in the state, did agree that as long as Army was involved in internal security duties, it needed a legal cover to operate.

"So long as you are using army for internal security duty, they need legal cover to operate. I think we need to differentiate between legal cover and impunity.

"The sort of cover they get now is they can do whatever they believe without fear of consequences. I think that fear of consequences has to be built back into the system," Omar said.

Omar along with the then Home Minister P Chidambaram had raised the issue with central leaders many a time but even his proposal for partial withdrawal of AFSPA hit a road block from Defence Ministry which, on advice of Army, red flagged it.

Even the Administrative Reforms Committee favoured withdrawal of AFSPA and drafting of a new law with certain checks and balances.

Omar appeared optimistic on the issue. "I am sure we will be able to withdraw some rules," he said.




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