Army Action In Leh Illegal: Omar

Army Action In Leh Illegal: Omar

4 June 2011
Rising Kashmir
Ishfaq Tantry

Srinagar: Terming the arms raids in Leh as completely illegal, the chief minister Omar Abdullah Saturday said his government is trying to get more areas of the State out of the purview of controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).“The army raids in Leh were totally illegal as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was not applicable in the Ladakh region. Infact there was no legal cover for the sort of action carried out by army men in Leh”, Omar told reporters on sidelines of the inaugural function of the ‘Mediation Orientation Programme’ organized by High Court at SKICC, here today. Police on June 2 registered a case against unidentified Army for entering three hotels in Leh on the evening of May 30 and harassing tourists including foreigners on the pretax that someone there is using a satellite phone. The case was registered after tourists, including some foreigners, staying in these hotels complained about harassment by the troops. “Leh and Kargil are two districts which are out of purview of AFSPA. Elsewhere in the State, Army would have taken shield under AFSPA for such actions. For this very obvious reason we have been talking about the need to modify the AFSPA. We are hopeful that in certain time, more areas of the State would be brought out from the purview of AFSPA,” the chief minister said. Omar, whose party is part of UPA coalition government in Delhi, took a dig on Indian yoga guru Baba Ramdev for his fast over black money and corruption. “The concerns about corruption and black money are legitimate. But I am not sure how going for hunger strike is going to achieve results because the goals set by Baba are unachievable in short term”. Disagreeing with the punitive measures suggested by Baba against corruption, he said, “The death penalty for corruption is unviable. I don’t know for how long he (Baba) plans to remain hungry”. He said it would be better that in the course of negotiations between the Government and the Yoga guru, some sort of time frame is worked out within which the government can resolve some of these issues. In response to a question about the huge assets acquired by the Baba, Omar said, “Since he has gone on a hunger strike against black money I would assume that the donations and contributions have come legally. I have no reason to question the legitimacy of the asset base he (Ramdev) has”.


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