Contrary to her earlier stand, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the situation is not conducive for revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir. "The situation on the ground does not allow revoking AFSPA," Mehbooba said while winding up discussion on grants to the home department in the Legislative Assembly. Elaborating further, she said, "In the past, when there was any encounter, people were seen fleeing some five kilometres away from the site.
(But) nowadays the case is reversed. People are seen rushing towards the encounter sites to hamper the operations." "We want to reduce footprints of police and security forces in the Valley, but is the situation feasible to revoke the AFSPA?" the chief minister questioned. Earlier this week Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had said time has not come for any rethink on the AFSPA or diluting some of its provisions.
His comments came a day after J & K police registered an FIR against Indian Armys 10 Gharwal unit based in Shopian for the death of three Kashmiri youth in army firing. The AFSPA which is in vogue in Kashmir since 1990 gives sweeping powers and immunity to the armed forces during anti-militant operations. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) headed by Mehbooba, diluted its stand on revocation of the AFSPA after forming an alliance government with the BJP in March 2015.