Jammu: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the situation is not conducive to revoke the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
“The situation on ground does not allow revoking AFSPA,” Mehbooba said in the assembly. She said that it is highly unrealistic to think about the revocation of AFSPA.
She said in past, when there was any encounter going on in any part of the valley, people were seen fleeing from the spot.
“Nowadays the case is otherwise. People are seen rushing towards the encounter sites to hamper the operations,” the Chief Minister said.
“Is the situation feasible to revoke AFSPA?” the CM questioned.
While advocating opening of more routes along the LoC in the State, Mehbooba Mufti said that recently a group of legislators met her and expressed the desire to visit Sharda Peth across the LoC. She said she was happy to see a media report recently that a Court there had directed proper upkeep of the said shrine. She said she has maintained it a number of times that Jammu & Kashmir is strategically placed and is rich in natural resources. “Why can’t this feature be utilised to derive maximum benefits to the State and the country”, she asked.
Terming dialogue as the core philosophy of her Government, the Chief Minister said she has been emphasising on this aspect for long and an interlocutor has been appointed. She hoped that all shades of opinion in the State would realise the emerging situation in Jammu & Kashmir and the heavy toll continued violence is taking. She expressed optimism that they would join the dialogue process initiated by Dineshwar Sharma to cut through the unending cycle of violence and uncertainty in the State.
On her efforts of extending healing touch, the Chief Minister said her Government took the initiative of withdrawal of cases against more than 9700 youth against whom cases of stone pelting were pending since 2008. She, however, appealed these youth and their parents to go back to their studies and jobs and take benefit of this amnesty adding that based on the positive feedback of this gesture her Government would also review similar cases against more youth. She said that she was happy to say that on this subject both Central and State Governments are on the same page.
Mehbooba Mufti said her Government is keen that laws like AFSPA are withdrawn and for that conducive atmosphere is created. She regretted that as the violence kicks up the corresponding footprints of the security forces, unfortunately, also go up while appealing people to give peace a chance to see the good changes take place on the ground. She said political outreach is must to get people out of despair while maintaining that the mainstream political parties have a major role in this.
On the recent Shopian incident, the Chief Minister reiterated that Army as an institution has a great reputation but when someone commits a wrong the legal process has to follow. She said Government has constituted a SIT into the case of death of a young girl at Hiranagar and even the case has been handed over to Crime Branch for expeditious probe.
On the developmental front, the Chief Minister said she has directed adoption of a three pronged strategy of Connectivity, Productivity & Employability while taking up developmental projects in the State. She said her Government has undertaken financial closure of the developmental projects which would otherwise keep on lingering for years together. She said Rs. 200 crore worth drinking water schemes are being projected for NABARD funding.