Heal Wounds

Gradually the demand for revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir and North East is gathering strength at the national level. The voices against the harsh law denying rights to people and catalyzing human rights violations are not now being raised only by human rights activists, and political leaders of the affected states, but also by important and influential members of the civil society. The Justice J S  Verma Committee constituted to look into possible amendments of criminal law to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment against sexual assault on women bringing within ambit the AFSPA, and calling for its revocation, has vindicated the concerns expressed against the law by the people of the state during past many years. It noticed that ‘impunity for systematic or isolated sexual violence in the process of Internal Security duties is being legitimized by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.’ It also called upon the government to recognize  ‘that women in conflict areas are entitled to all the security and dignity that is afforded to citizens in any other part of our country and emphasized the need to review the continuance of AFSPA and AFSPA-like legal protocols in internal conflict areas as soon as possible. The voice raised by Justice Verma Committee against continuance of the AFSPA has been joined by many others all over the country. Joining the voices, Chairman of National Commission on Minorities Wajahat Habibuallah rightly pointed out that the Act was against democracy and the constitution, and such laws should not exist.  To see the voices raised at national level against the AFSPA becoming stronger the state leadership across party lines need to make serious efforts to see it gone. The all party meeting suggested by Chief Minister could be a good beginning. Seen in retrospect enforcing of this law in the state having its roots in colonial past of the country has had only negative impact and has sharpened the trust deficit between people and the state. The law during past twenty years has inflicted deep wounds on the people of the state.  These wounds need to be healed much before they become cancerous.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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