The Government of India (GoI) has no plans to withdraw or amend the Armed Forces (J&K) Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1990″, which gives the forces immunity and special rights in carrying out operations in disturbed areas, Union minister Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said Tuesday.
Ahir, however, said in the Lok Sabha that a proposal is under consideration to make the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 more operationally effective and humane.
“There is no proposal to amend the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990. There is no proposal under consideration of Government of India to withdraw the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 from Jammu and Kashmir,” he said replying a written question.
There has been a long-standing demand from various quarters in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast to withdraw the Act.
Ahir further said less lethal plastic bullets would be used to tackle law and order situations in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The government has decided to introduce less lethal plastic bullets also to be used in tackling law and order situations in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said in reply to a written question.
Ahir also said the government has no plans for enhanced use of bunkers to protect forces from stone throwers after the annual shift of the capital from Jammu to Srinagar in the next few days.
The minister said the government has appointed Dineshwar Sharma, former Director of the Intelligence Bureau, as its representative to initiate and carry forward dialogue with the elected representatives, organisations and individuals concerned in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The response from the people of Jammu and Kashmir has been very positive. A large number of delegations and individuals representing various sections of society and particularly youths have already interacted with the Government of India representative,” he said.