Home Ministry against repealing AFSPA

NEW DELHI: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has recommended against repealing the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

editorial@tribune.com

Tribune News Service

 

New Delhi, March 2

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has recommended against repealing the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

In a report submitted to the Cabinet Committee of Security, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ministry said the report of the Justice BP Jeevan Reddy committee, which recommended repeal of the law terming it as “a symbol of oppression” should be rejected.

“We have recommended to the Union Cabinet to reject the report of Justice Jeevan Reddy committee,” an official said.

The Defence Ministry is also opposed to any dilution of the Act and has said the forces operating in insurgency-prone areas are protected by the AFSPA from “harassment”.

The Jeevan Reddy committee was set up in 2004, in the wake of intense agitation in Manipur following killing of a woman, Thangjam Manorama, while in the custody of Assam Rifles and the indefinite fast undertaken by activist Irom Sharmila. The five-member committee, headed by Justice Jeevan Reddy, a former Supreme Court judge, had submitted its report on June 6, 2005.

The 147-page report recommends: “The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, should be repealed.”

The committee in the report observed that “the Act, for whatever reason, has become a symbol of oppression, an object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high handedness”.

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