AFSPA gap grew over ‘violations’
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The confrontation over the issue of revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been brewing between the Omar Abdullah government and the Army since the Chief Minister talked of his government's intent to investigate the veracity of encounters along the Line of Control soon after the Machil fake encounter came to light in June last year.
The police had indicted the commanding officer and a major of the 4 Rajputana in the case. The Army, however, had invoked AFSPA provisions and opposed its men being tried in a civil court, seeking transfer of the case to it.
The Omar government had at the time revived an old call to revoke the AFSPA, which was vehemently opposed by the Army.
There have been other instances such as this where the Army has been accused of using the shield of the AFSPA to protect its men in cases of alleged human rights violations.
National Conference spokesperson Mustafa Kamal, who accused the Army of carrying out Tuesday's attacks to prevent the withdrawal of the AFSPA, said the Army was afraid of "the truth coming to light".
The entire Army is not involved in such violations, he added. "It's the black sheep in the Army who are doing all this. They are doing everything to ensure that these draconian laws stay."
While the Army had done a lot of good work and helped put an end to militancy, it also has "a dark side in Kashmir", Kamal added.
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