Monday, June 7, 2010
Army should act with discretion in J&K
The presence of army in the strife-torn state of Jammu and Kashmir to keep proper vigil on infiltration of terrorists from across the border but at the same time they must not act overenthusiastically to win laurels by killing the innocent persons in fake encounters and after labelling them as terrorists. After all, army is doing commendable job in J & K.The reports about fake encounters by the army personnel appeare frequently and people’s anger in dialy newspapers against the atrcities of security forces. By resorting to fake encounters, the army personnel are doing more harm than fighting Pak-sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. On the eve of a two-day visit of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in Jammu and Kashmir to start peace initiatives with separatist groups, the army swung into action by removing the accused Colonel and Major of involvement in Michail fake encounter in the Kupwara district. An Army Major has been suspended and a Colonel removed from his command for their alleged involvement in the killing of three youths in a fake encounter of April 30 in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. An inquiry has been ordered by the army. The two high ranking army officers were named as main accused by the Jammu and Kashmir police in April 30 Machil encounter case. The action against the accused officers came after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met senior officials of the Army and police at a high-level meeting. Mr. Abdullah has made a strong pitch for amending the Armed Forces Special Powers Act to make it more transparent. He is expected to raise this issue during the two-day visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. This is the second time that the Army has removed a serving officer from a command. Earlier, Colonel Gloria of 33 Rashtriya Rifles was removed for allegedly killing three boys who were playing cricket in a playground in Dudipora-Handwara in February 2006, three months after he had taken over the reins of the counter-insurgency unit.CM Omar Abdullah has made a strong pitch for amending the Armed Forces Special Powers Act to make it more transparent. He is expected to raise this issue during the two-day visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.The need of the hour in Jammu and Kashmir is transparency in the functioning of the Army, Police and Bureaucracy to win the confidence of the people. As far as AFSPA is concerned, the need to combat terrorism in the state and for that it being functional there is prime necessity. Undoubtedly, the army is doing great job in halting the terrorist violences in the state in the recent past. The army must create an atmosphere of trust and fearless among the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is visiting Jammu and Kashmir to start peace initiatives afresh. He has assured the people of acting against the human violations. His main aim to visit the state is to start peace initiatives by holding talks to different separatist outfits.The government of India must not make any changes in AFSPA despite the strong pitch being made by even CM Omar Abdullah. It is AFSA that has kept the level of insurgency down. The attempt to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir by terrorists from across the border is still being made as in the past. So, the govt. must think twice before making any modifications in AFSPA.