‘AFSPA To Be Restricted’, Chidambaram

1 August 2009
Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: The Armed Forces Special Powers Act is being amended and the government is looking at limiting the application of the legislation to some areas, home minister P Chidambaram said. Chidambaram said that the center would have to take a decision on restricting the application of the controversial Act in some areas. The Act is currently enforced in Jammu and Kashmir and some parts of the Northeast. “The AFSPA amendments are getting ready,” he told reporters at a monthly press briefing here. Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have been demanding repeal of AFSPA contending that they give unfettered powers to armed forces, which they accuse of high-handedness. The chief minister Omar Abdullah had also demanded withdrawal of the Act from the state and there have been deliberations with the armed forces over the issue. “At the moment, we are looking at the amendments to the AFSPA. I cannot disclose the nature of the amendments because that has to go through the Cabinet process,” he said. “We are also looking at limiting the application of the AFSPA to some areas,” Chidambaram said in response to a question over withdrawal of the Act from Jammu and Kashmir. “That (limiting the application) is the goal over a period of time. In consultation with the state government, we will have to take a look at that,” he said.