The BJP on Tuesday evening tried to clear the air on the controversy over the implementation of ‘AFSPA’ in Jammu and Kashmir. The party said that the debate on lifting of the AFSPA was politically motivated, and aimed to mollify certain sections in Kashmir Valley. Party spokesperson Farooq Khan said that no step or steps would be taken which compromise the fight against terrorism, and hamper the anti-insurgency operations in the state.
Making it clear that there was no change in the stance of the government, Khan reiterated that AFSPA is much in force, and no area has been denotified for lifting of the act. He further said that the Disturbed Area Act (DAA) 1997 has not linkage with the AFSPA, and there was no relevance to the ongoing discussion. The AFSPA is a complete Act in itself, and it was implemented in the state of J&K in 1990, while at that time the DAA was not even born. To lift the AFSPA partially or fully, the notification has to be issued by the Governor or Government of India. Critics meanwhile are saying that mixing the issues, and two separate laws was just meant to create confusion among the masses, and to make certain sections happy. They say that even the CMP decided by coalition government makes it clear that final decision on AFSPA will be taken by the centre.
The controversy about AFSPA arose after the government today said that DAA was not in force in the state. Rejecting a resolution by a NC member in the Legislative Council today, Amrit Malhotra said that the DAA act was valid only only for one year, and it lapsed in 1998. The NC member however walked into the well of the House to protest against the decision of the chairman to disallow the debate on the issue.
The CM meanwhile has said that DAA will be lifted from some areas to pave way for the lifting of AFSPA but this will be done in consultation with the the army.