AFSPA revocation decision after consulting security forces: Antony
‘Issue Discussed In UHQ Meeting On November 9’
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Dec12: Government Monday said the issue of partial revocation of AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir was discussed in a meeting of Unified Headquarters last month and maintained that decisions on security matters are taken after consultation with concerned states and security forces.
In written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Defence Minister AK Antony said; “The issue of partial revocation of AFSPA from some districts of J&K was discussed in the Unified Headquarters (UHQ) meeting held at Jammu on November 9.”
Decisions on matters affecting security are taken after evaluation of situation on ground and after detailed consultations among the central government, state governments concerned and the security forces, he said.
GKNN ADDS FROM SRINAGAR:
Latest debate over AFSPA revocation was triggered by Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on October 21, when at a police function near Zewan on the outskirts of Srinagar, he declared that the controversial law would be removed from parts of the state “within days”.
On October 25, Omar told a Delhi-based news channel that a decision on AFSPA revocation would be taken before the civil secretariat and other move offices close in Srinagar on October 28 for annual Durbar move to Jammu.
Senior NC leader and Chief Minister’s uncle Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal added a new disquieting dimension to the raging controversy when he blamed the army for orchestrating successive grenade attacks across the Valley on October 25 to scuttle revocation of AFSPA from parts of the state.
It was widely believed that a decision on partial revocation of the controversial law would be taken in the state cabinet meeting held here on October 28.
But, after state Congress and the Army opposed the move tooth and nail, Omar said the issue would be discussed in November after move offices open in Jammu.
“It never came as a proposal (in the cabinet meeting on Oct 28). So how can it be deferred? It was always slated to be discussed formally in Jammu once offices open,” Omar tweeted on micro-blogging site Twitter on October 29.
To pacify his coalition partner Congress and the armed forces, the Chief Minister also stated that he had only made public his “intention” and not any “decision” on partial revocation of AFSPA.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, on October 31 said that there was nothing “unusual” in Omar’s announcement on partial removal of AFSPA from the state as “the move was part of the decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) last September.”
The Unified Headquarters meeting held in Jammu on November 9 again failed to arrive at a decision on the sticky issue as army is believed to have came out openly even against the partial revocation of AFSPA.
On November 10, Omar said in Srinagar that a decision on the issue would be taken after the official panels set-up for the purpose submit their report putting the ball again in army’s court. Chief Minister, however, made it clear that he won’t listen “no” from the Army as it is not an option.
The Defence Minister AK Antony on November 11 added a new angle to the raging issue, when he said that the Unified Headquarters in J&K and not the Chief Minister would decide on AFSPA revocation.
On November 13, Omar rushed to New Delhi to meet the central leaders including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister AK Antony, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Army Chief Gen VK Singh to garner support for his AFSPA revocation move.
On his return from Delhi, Chief Minister told reporters in Jammu on November 19 that there was ample scope to go ahead with the move (AFSPA revocation) while addressing the concerns of the Army.
On November 21, Omar told a public meeting at Anantnag that while he was on the right track on AFSPA revocation, he won’t set any deadline for the removal of the law from the state. He also said that on AFSPA he was only adhering to the decision taken by CCS last September.
On November 23, Omar triggered another controversy when he told reporters at a dinner hosted by him in Jammu that he was ready to incorporate contentious sections 45 and 197 (A) of the CrPC in the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) to address the Army’s concerns in case of AFSPA revocation.
On November 27, NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah took on Army accusing them of having failed to check infiltration. He also said that Army was not the master of JK people and if CM has said that AFSPA should go, it has to go.
On November 30 Omar declared at a public meeting in Rafiabad, Baramulla that AFSPA revocation was in a decisive phase while Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said in Delhi that amending RPC was a separate issue not linked to AFSPA revocation.
On December 11, Omar told Hindustan Times that there was no deadline for AFSPA revocation. “There is no deadline. This is an ongoing process,” he told the newspaper.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Dec 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Dec 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Dec 2011 00:00:00 IST
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