Diluting AFSPA dangerous: Congress tells delegation in Jammu

September 21st, 2010 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Sep 21 (IANS) Withdrawing or tampering with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir would be “dangerous”, the state’s Congress unit told the visiting all-party delegation here Tuesday.
Congress Lok Sabha member Lal Singh, who led the party team to meet the all-party delegation in Jammu, said that any attempt to withdraw or dilute the AFSPA would only cause more problems.

“We have told them that the AFSPA should be kept as it is, and any attempt to tamper with its letter and spirit would be dangerous for the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” the party MP from Udhampur-Doda constituency said.

The Congress delegation in Jammu also made it plain that “no thought of withdrawing the troops from any part of the state, particularly the Kashmir Valley, should be nurtured”.

However, Congress’ view is opposed to its ally National Conference, which had pleaded for the dilution of AFSPA.

The AFSPA grants the military wide powers to arrest without warrant, shoot to kill, and destroy property in what are declared ‘disturbed areas’.

Over 100 people have died in unending street protests in the Kashmir Valley since June 11 in retaliatory firing by security forces on stone-pelting mobs.

A 39-member delegation comprising leaders of various national parties is visiting the state to get a sense of the ground situation before deciding on steps to defuse tensions.

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