Will Implement AFSPA Panel Recommendations: Omar

Will Implement AFSPA Panel Recommendations: Omar

27 March 2012
Greater Kashmir


Srinagar: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday said the state government would comply with the recommendations of the two official committees on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). “The recommendations of the committees (set up by the JK Government) will be acted upon (regarding gradual withdrawal of AFSPA) after the same are submitted by them to the government”, Omar said today. He was replying to the cut motion by CPI (M) MLA M Y Tarigami, during the discussion over his Departments’ grants in the Legislative Assembly today. Omar stressed his government is committed to gradual withdrawal of AFSPA from the state. The state government has constituted two committees - one each in Jammu and Kashmir regions respectively to look into the areas from where the AFSPA could be withdrawn. He further said, committees have held a number of meetings in this regard. Pertinently, Omar had on October 21 last year announced that AFSPA would be revoked from parts of the state within days. ‘5786 ARRESTED IN 2 YEARS’ Omar said over 5,000 people have been arrested under substantive and preventive laws during the last two years in the state. “As many as 5,786 persons were arrested under substantive and preventive laws during past two years between April 2010 and March 2012,” Omar said in reply to a cut motion of PDP MLA Choudhary Zulfikar Ali. Out of which, 5,782 persons have been bailed out, the Chief Minister said in the House. As on March 10, 2012, 15 persons were under detention and lodged in different jails in connection with the summer unrest of 2010 in the Kashmir Valley, he said while giving details. Out of these 15 persons, 12 persons have been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) and 3 are under judicial custody, the Chief Minister said. The government has also announced amnesty for the youth arrested for involvement in stone pelting, he said. The amnesty policy was announced in the run up to Eid festival during the holy month of Ramadan, he said. The scheme envisages amnesty to all those involved in stone pelting incidents during the summer unrest in Valley from March 2010, he said. However, the amnesty will not be extended to those who are involved in arson and damage to public property, he added. ‘1034 YOUTH APPLIED FOR REHABILITATION’ The Chief Minister said 1034 applications have been received from former militants in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) for their return under the rehabilitation policy. “So far 1034 applications have been received on behalf of persons presently in PaK who intend to return under rehabilitation policy”, Omar said. “Out of these applications, 67 cases have been recommended, the decision on which is awaited,” he said. He further said, rest of the applications are being scrutinized and verified. Giving further details, he said working group on “Confidence Building Measures across the segment of people in the state” had recommended a definite policy and package for the return and rehabilitation of state’s subjects from across the border. Acting on working group’s recommendations, the state government had notified the policy and procedure on November 23, 2010, for the return of ex-militants, he said. Replying to another question of JKNPP MLA Yashpal Kundal, he said those who have gone to PaK and Pakistan between 1-1-1989 and December 31, 2009 and their dependents will be eligible for consideration under the policy. Elaborating about the policy, Omar said all applications would be first scrutinized by SPs, later by CID and dossier so prepared will be forwarded to Home Department by the CID where final decision would be taken by the high-level committee. Police Superintendents of the concerned districts from where the militants had earlier crossed over to Pakistan, would be the designated authority. The parents or close relatives of the prospective returnees, in exceptional circumstances, the returnee himself may apply in the prescribed proforma to the authority. Under the proposed policy former militants would be permitted to enter only from Joint Check Points at Wagah, Attari or through Salamabad or Chakan-da-Bagh crossing at the Line of Control (LoC) or through Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, he added. After completion of the formalities at the crossing points, returnees and their dependents will be escorted to the state and district authorities will be duly informed, he said. No general amnesty is envisaged under this policy and returnees would be duly prosecuted in cases registered against them which are of serious nature, Omar clarified. He further said the returnees will be given trainings in suitable trades or skills for easing their re-integration into the society.