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National Human Rights Commission to consider AFSPA repeal

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By- Correspondent | Date- October 18, 2011

People of North East India, especially the campaigners for the withdrawal of the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA might have something to look forward to as a ray of hope.

 The National Human Rights Commission is going to consider the issue of repealing the controversial act and the time it needs to continue, as announced by NHRC Chairperson Justice K G Balakrishnan. He declared this while addressing the National Consultation for Universal Periodic Review 2012.

Balakrishnan also stressed the need to define the nature of offences to be considered as violation of human rights so that it becomes convenient for the people to file complaints in the human rights courts. This according to him should be set up by all the states as per the Protection of Human Rights Act.

As reported earlier, the Ministries of Defence and Home and the Central Government, according to sources are unlikely to make any amendments or introduce a revised bill in winter session of the parliament. This is because of the differences in the proposed amendments to AFSPA, which exists internally between the ministries and persuasion of the Army. It is being claimed that Defence Ministry is strictly against certain proposed amendments of AFSPA, stating that such changes would tie down the Indian Army and leave the army almost handicapped in operating and combating insurgency in states of North East and Jammu and Kashmir.

Under The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA prevalent in North East States of India, the Indian Armed forces are given unrestricted and unaccounted power to carry out their operations, once an area is declared disturbed. Even a non-commissioned officer is granted the right to shoot to kill or arrest anyone without a warrant based on mere suspicion. This inhuman law which dignifies the basic human rights has been long protested by the people of the region; however, as the people of the region has complained often enough, the long cries and protests have largely been ignored.

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National Human Rights Commission to consider AFSPA repeal

By: Times of Assam Bureau Read time: 6 min