Centre will consider revoking AFSPA in J&K: Shah

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Srinagar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said that the Centre will consider revoking the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Jammu and Kashmir.

In an interview with Gulistan News, the minister added that the government is planning to pull back troops from the Union territory and leave law and order to the Jammu and Kashmir Police alone.

“We have plans to pull back troops and leave law and order to the Jammu and Kashmir Police alone. Earlier Jammu and Kashmir police were not trusted but today they are leading operations. We will also think of revoking AFSPA,” Shah added.

The AFSPA empowers the armed forces personnel who are operating in disturbed areas with powers to search, arrest, and open fire if they deem it necessary for “the maintenance of public order”. An area or district is notified as disturbed under the AFSPA to facilitate the operations of the armed forces.

Earlier, Shah had said that the AFSPA has been removed in 70 percent of areas in the North East even though it is in force in Jammu and Kashmir.

Shah attacked opposition leaders Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, saying they don’t have any right to speak on terrorism.

“The number of fake encounters that took place during their time has never been matched by any other regime. In the last five years, not a single fake encounter has taken place. Rather the FIRs have been lodged against the people involved in fake encounters,” the minister added.

“We will have a dialogue with the youths of Kashmir and not with the organizations that have roots in Pakistan. They are responsible for the deaths of 40,000 youths,” Shah said.

The minister said the Modi government has banned 12 organizations for their involvement in terror activities, designated 36 individuals as terrorists, registered more than 22 cases to stop terror finance, and seized properties worth ₹150 crore. As many as 90 properties were also attached and 134 bank accounts have been frozen, he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)