NHRC Questions AFSPA Continuance


New Delhi, Dec 5: Questioning the rationale of continuing with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said the government itself has noted that the country does not face any armed conflict situations.
The NHRC observation came in its Second Universal Periodic Review of human rights in the country.
“The AFSPA remains in force in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-Eastern States, conferring an impunity that often leads to the violation of human rights.
“This, despite the fact that India’s 2011 report on the Optional Protocol to the Convention of Rights of Child (CRC) states that India does not face either international or non international armed conflict situations,” the NHRC report said.
The continuance of AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir has kicked up a row with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah pushing for its revocation. In Manipur, Irom Sharmila is on a fast for the past over ten years demanding revocation of the Act, dubbed “draconian” by activists.
On the Naxal movement, it said the spread of this violent Left-wing extremist movement is a cautionary tale.
“Estimates are that 200 out of the 600 districts in India are affected, though the government puts the figure at around 60 districts; even so this means that perhaps 120 million people are affected,” it said.
Belatedly, the government is trying to bring the fruits of development to these areas, but the violent opposition of the Naxals, who destroy even schools and attack officials, means that in the areas they control, human rights have become even more parlous, it said.
“It will be an immense challenge for a democracy to defeat a movement that respects no human rights, through means that safeguard and do not violate the rights of the citizens it must protect.”


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