Human Rights

Home ministry trying to evolve consensus on AFSPA

On one hand only 13 days of fasting by Anna Hazare was enough to force the government to concede to their demands while on the other no consensus as of now has been reached within the government to repeal ASPA even after 11 years of fast by Irom Chanu Sharmila. Even after repeated attempts from various departments the government has failed to arrive at a consensus on amending of the AFSPA. Many believe that the delay on the part of the government is due to lack of political will, or else issues gets resolved on the order of political importance. However, home ministry is making fresh efforts to build a consensus within the government before it approaches the Cabinet. Earlier, Justice Jeevan Reddy Panel was set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to study the law. On getting the report Prime Minister had promised to make the law more humane. Home minister while talking to reporters after presenting his ministry’s monthly report card said that there is a statement of the prime minister that we will replace the existing law with a more humane Act and efforts are being made to build a consensus within ministries and concerned parties in this regard. For Kashmir, the home minister has suggested alternative ways in which he has asked the state government to withdraw the Disturbed Areas Act and if that can be done then the AFSPA will automatically go. AFSPA gives special powers to armed forces to detain or kill on suspicion. Presently, the law is imposed in Kashmir and some parts of Northeast. After having received an invitation from Anna Hazare to participate in his agitation against corruption Iron Sharmila has also invited Anna Hazare to Manipur to give a voice to the people of the Manipur.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2011 on page no. 11

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