AFSPA mandatory for the Army to work, says Parrikar

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Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar says that The Armed Forces Special Powers Act is mandatory if the Army has to be deployed in Jammu and Kashmir or any other state for internal security. He said, “Mine is not the Ministry to decide about it but if the Act is existing in that particular area, the Army can operate in that area. If it isn’t, Army can’t.”

When asked about his Ministry’s stand on JK government’s demand to scrap the controversial AFSPA in the state, he said the decision is however, to be taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs. “It isn’t my job to maintain internal security but if I am given a task for internal security then there have to be appropriate powers and those powers come to me through AFSPA,” he said.

He said that it is the MHA to take a call on this matter and tell us whether we operate or not. “If they think we aren’t required, then they can do whatever they want to do. But if that Act isn’t there, I will not be able to operate,” he said.

The Army too feels that if AFSPA is withdrawn or even partially diluted, chances are, violence level would likely increase. Talking about infiltration attempts he said there have always been efforts from the other side to push in infiltrators. There has been an increase because winter has been late this year and the snow just melted.

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