Time not appropriate to withdrawal AFSPA from J&K: Govt

Rs 500 crore earmarked for rehabilitation of Kashmir migrants

2,264 SPOs converted as constables/followers under government policy

Government today said that time was “not appropriate” for withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha, said the issue was raised by state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during the conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security on June 5, 2013.

The Chief Minister, Rijiju said, “raised the issue of withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the state in a phased manner, beginning from the areas which have been free from militancy for quite sometime.

“However, various stakeholders particularly the security agencies have expressed their apprehension to the government that the revocation of the Act from the state of J and K will jeopardise their efforts in maintaining the security and law and order in the state.
“Hence, it has been decided that the time is not appropriate at the moment for withdrawal of AFSPA from the state of J and K,” the minister said.

As regards North-Eastern states, Rijiju said, “Representations have been received from time to time from different organisations/NGOs from Manipur for withdrawal of AFSPA. On security matters, the government of India carefully evaluates the situation on the ground before taking any decision.”

In reply to a separate question, Rijiju said the resolution of the Kashmir problem involves multi-faceted approach to address the issues besieging the state such as terrorism, infiltration, Pakistan factor, political polarisation among others.

The government has initiated several actions from time to time for resolving the above issues emanating from the domestic and external factors, he said.

“Towards the domestic front, the government in tandem with the state government adopted a multi-pronged approach to contain cross-border infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir, which includes, inter-alia, strengthening of border management and multi-tiered and multi-modal deployment along international borderline of control and infiltration routes, improved intelligence and operational coordination and pro-active action against the terrorists within the state,” the minister said.

The Minister said that during bilateral talks held between the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan following the swearing-in ceremony of the Indian Government on May 26, 2014, “it was agreed that Foreign Secretaries of both the countries would get in touch to explore the possibility of how to move bilateral relations between the two countries forward.

“Our Prime Minister further emphasised the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity at the borders and upholding the sanctity of the Line of Control (LoC),” he said.

Further in the budget of 2014-15, introduced in the Parliament on July 10 2014, Rs 500 crore have been earmarked for rehabilitation of Kashmir migrants, he added.

Talking about JK further, he said in an another reply, so far, 2,264 Special Police Officers (SPOs) have been converted as constables/followers under government policy.

“As per report, there is no proposal or policy under consideration of the state government to consider Village Defence Committees (VDCs) for regularisation, as their nature of engagement is purely voluntary,” Rijiju said. (AGENCIES)

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