Days after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take a look at revocation of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) Friday expressed its disagreement with it saying that Omar is trying to appease separatists and befool people for vote bank politics.
“Chief Minister issues such statements only to befool the people for vote bank politics in coming Assembly elections. Moreover he is trying to appease the separatist leaders,” Avinash Rai Khanna BJP’s Chief Whip in Raj Sabha and in-charge Jammu and Kashmir affairs, told KNS over phone from New Delhi.
He said that despite the fact that militants are still active in the valley Omar is giving such statements on AFSPA. “He is befooling the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the name of AFSPA. I suggest him that he should give up his obsession for partial revocation of AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Khanna said that though the security situation in the state has become stable, “it continues to be fragile.” “This is a time for action. The government of India will never under the current circumstances consider lifting of AFSPA from the Jammu and Kashmir. The security environment must be strengthened, the miscreants must feel scared and should not be allowed to disturb the peace,” he said.
The BJP leader added that Omar Abdullah must be aware that his own State has passed a law which has virtually the same provisions as AFSPA. “The Jammu and Kashmir Police Act is similar to AFSPA. People can see the difference between his words and deeds,” he said.
The Act gives security forces including military and paramilitary personnel sweeping powers. It was first used in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura and was later extended to Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile joining the chorus Ramesh Arora BJP State vice president and in-charge Kashmir affairs said that any weakening of the AFSPA is unacceptable to the party and “no attempt be made under political pressure to compromise the morale of the security forces who sacrificed their lives while fighting the terrorists.”
Omar had on Tuesday said there has been “double-digit reduction in violence” in the state so that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take a look at revocation of the AFSPA.
“Taking 2008-2009 as the base, the decline in militancy has been of the order of 60 to 70 percent in the state,” Abdullah had said while attending the Police Commemoration Day function in Srinagar.