Former union minister and senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz on Thursday suggested the Centre to scarp Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as a first step in Jammu and Kashmir if it wanted to respond to the “grim situation” prevailing in the state.
“It might create the possibility of a dialogue with the Opinion leaders in Kashmir,” the Congress leader said holding forces responsible for the situation in which 50 lives have been lost in the protest against the encounter of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
AFSPA, no doubt, is a draconian law and it has mostly been misused in the state. The armed forces and para military forces have laws available to check violence of all kinds, he said, adding that AFSPA only provides them “immunity for not being accountable for any of their actions”.
Referring to the use of pellet guns by security forces to dispel protester he said: “As a citizen, I felt amazed when senior functionaries of the Government of India committed recently that they would explore the possibility of using non-lethal weapons than pallet guns,”adding that this “assertion pre-supposes that they have only to fight”.
“They also, perhaps, meant that Government of India has nothing to do in the realm of insaniyat (humanity),” the Congress leader said.