No lifting of AFSPA, even partially: Government

The Centre has completely ruled out either dilution or a partial withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from the Kashmir Valley. Credible information with the government suggests the demand to lift AFSPA being propagated by the separatists is part of a well-calibrated strategy to weaken the security establishment.

The separatists, government sources said, were fully aware that the local police was not competent to handle a crisis of the magnitude the Valley was now facing, and thus by consistently raking up the demand to lift AFSPA they hoped to weaken security operations in the Valley.

Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag will visit the Valley on Friday to review the security situation. The Army Chief had a detailed meeting with home minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday, primarily to review new security mechanisms to check infiltration from across the border. The Centre has again reiterated that Pakistan was behind the ongoing violence in the Valley and there was no possibility of any dialogue with it in the near future.

“The separatists want to use the country’s political system to pressure the security forces by getting rid of AFSPA so that the Indian State is weakened. We can categorically say we will not allow this to happen. The separatists want to establish a theocratic state through violence means,” a top official said. There are as many as 2,500 complaints pending against Army personnel over security operations in J&K, and if they aren’t protected under AFSPA, legal action will have to be initiated against all of them.

A detailed analysis of the current turbulence in the Valley reveals that the separatists, as part of their plan, want the stone-pelting mobs to compel the security forces to retaliate against them, in the hope of playing the “victim” card, whereas it is they who are provoking the violence.

The spate of violence has thrown up another interesting aspect, government sources. It has been revealed that radicalisation and religious fundamentalism in J&K has grown substantially compared to the two earlier major agitation of 2008 and 2010. “One will have to go deeper into why this happened, but the current scale of violence clearly indicates.

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