Free counters!
FollowLike Share It

Thursday 27 October 2011

Terror bursts Omar's remove-AFSPA bubble

Terror bursts Omar's remove-AFSPA bubble

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 01:05
Rahul Datta | New Delhi
Hits: 192
Amid a renewed debate over the proposed withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from certain parts of the State, Kashmir Valley was rattled on Tuesday by at least four grenade attacks on security forces at different places within a span of four hours.
The attacks, coming just four days after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced his intentions of removing the controversial Act from at least four cities, including Srinagar, Budgam, Jammu and Samba, have only gone on to back the Army and Defence Ministry’s opposition to the proposed move primarily on the ground that such “enclaves” where the Act is not applicable will embolden the ultras to take shelter there.
The Defence Ministry’s reservations on the proposed plan, sources said, concurred with the Army’s view even as the State Government has taken the plea that these zones are peaceful and relatively free of terrorist violence. The State Government also held parleys with Central Government representatives, including the Cabinet Secretary and Home Secretary, over the last two days on the issue.
The Army maintains that creation of such enclaves will prove to be counter-productive as militants will take shelter in these pockets while the Army will not be able to take action against them in the absence of legal cover as provided by AFSPA. This act was promulgated in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990.
The Defence Ministry agreed with Army’s concerns as it is the premier agency now carrying counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations in the State.
Maintaining that Omar may have “compelling reasons”, Law Minister Salman Khurshid too on Tuesday said the Home Minister and the Defence Minister should “concur” on the issue and the Army should be taken on board before a final decision can be taken (on AFSPA withdrawal).
Elaborating upon the likely consequences of removing AFSPA from four zones, sources gave the example of Imphal. While the entire State of Manipur is covered by the act giving special powers and legal cover to the Army, the AFSPA is not imposed in Imphal.
Officials said this experiment was proving to be a problem for the security forces in the backdrop of ultras taking refuge in the State capital without fear of punitive action or arrest.
As regards Kashmir, they said sustained pro-active stance against Pakistan-backed terrorists has yielded positive results in the last two to three years as levels of violence have come down and infiltration from across the 750-km long Line of Control (LOC) is at an all-time low.
Given this scenario, any let-up and removal of AFSPA from certain towns of Jammu & Kashmir will weaken the hands of the Army and other security forces including the Border Security Force and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), they said.
Incidentally, the Army does not have presence in all the major towns of Jammu & Kashmir and law and order duties and counter-insurgency  operations are carried by the local police along with the CRPF. Counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations are carried out by the security forces under the Unified Command headed by Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister.
The Army operates in the hinterland and rugged mountainous terrain besides the manning the LOC.  Anticipating a spurt in violence and infiltrations bids before snow blocks all ingress routes for the militants, the Army has stepped up aggressive patrolling along the anti-infiltration fence.
Sources said the main objective of aggressive patrolling and real time intelligence based intelligence strikes is to neutralise the infiltrators within the two km of the LOC is militants manage to evade patrols.
Besides these measures, the security forces were denying hideouts to terrorists in remote villages during the winter months by intensifying patrolling and keeping the ultras on the run, they said.

No comments:

Post a Comment