March 3, 2015 | By Parmjeet Singh
New Delhi, India: Indian state has declared that controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act, AFSPA will remain in force despite so much protest against it in the Northeast and Kashmir. AFSPA grants special powers to Indian security forces in Northeast and Kashmir and it is infamous for being a source of blatant human rights violations and impunity.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), India has sent a report to the Cabinet Committee of Security recommending that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act should not be repealed. The committee is headed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
MHA has called for rejection of the Justice B P Jeevan Reddy committee’s 147-page report submitted on June 6, 2005, that recommended repealing the AFSPA. The committee had termed the law as “a symbol of oppression”.
The committee’s report had recommended, “The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, should be repealed.” It said the Act had become “a symbol of oppression, an object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high handedness”.
The Ministry of Defence has also opposed dilution of the Act, arguing that forces operating in the insurgency- hit areas are protected by the AFSPA from “harassment”.
Irom Sharmila, who is regarded as the iron lady of Manipur, has been on a fast for more than 14 years to demand repeal of AFSPA. In Kashmir, people often took to streets challenging AFSPA.
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