Repel AFSPA from Kashmir: AI

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NEW DELHI: Amnesty International urged on Wednesday Indian authorities to completely withdraw the ‘draconian’ Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Kashmir.

“The draconian law has facilitated grave human rights violations, including extra-judicial executions, enforced disappearances, rape and torture,” the Amnesty said in a statement.

The Amnesty International in a statement said that the AFSPA provided sweeping powers to Indian troops, including the power to shoot to kill and to arrest people without warrants. It maintained that the draconian law also provided virtual immunity from prosecution by requiring prior permission from the Indian government before the forces’ personnel could be prosecuted and this permission was virtually never given.

The Amnesty International lamented that the AFSPA had facilitated grave human rights violations, including extra-judicial executions, enforced disappearances, rape and torture. The human rights body said that the Government of India must respect the rights of everyone to justice and equality, and repeal this oppressive law in its entirety.

The removal of the AFSPA, the Amnesty maintained, will bring millions in Tripura out of the shadows of one of India’s harshest laws, which threaten human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed under international law. However, it deplored that the draconian law was still in force in occupied Kashmir as well as the Indian states of Assam, Nagaland and parts of Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

It is to mention here that on May 27, the Tripura Government withdrew the AFSPA after 18 years it was introduced in the state.

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