Srinagar: The CPI(M) on Tuesday demanded withdrawal of contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (ASPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA) from Jammu and Kashmir, terming them as “draconian.”
The party at the concluding session of its 11th State Conference held here adopted a series of resolutions on the human rights situation in J&K which said that all “draconian” laws including the AFSPA and the PSA should be repealed forthwith.
The party also asked for complete ban on the use of pellet shotguns by security forces during containing protests in the State.
Incidentally, the CPI(M) made these demands on a day when the Union government announced in Parliament that it has no plans to withdraw or amend the AFSPA in enforce in J&K since 1990. The law gives the forces immunity and special rights in carrying out operations in disturbed areas of the State
Union minister Hansraj Gangaram Ahir replying a written question in Lok Sabha, “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, however, added that a proposal is under consideration to make the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 “more operationally effective and humane”.
The CPI(M) at its conference reiterated its demand of withdrawing of the AFSPA and ban on use of pellet guns in Kashmir as a confidence building measure and also restoration of eroded provisions of Article 370.
"Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, should assure the people that Article 370 and Article 35-A will be safe guarded and should make statement on the floor of the Parliament in this regard," the party said in a statement issued at the end of the conference.
It also asked that the cases of political leaders detained in various jails within and outside J&K should be reviewed for their release.
"Cases of detenues under PSA should be reviewed at the earliest and steps taken for their release," it said.
The party also expressed serious concern over the attacks on Kashmiri students, businessmen and others outside J&K.
"The participants of the conference held once in three years were of the opinion that till there is cancer of RSS and Sangh Parivar in India, life is hell for minorities, Dalits and Kashmiris. This poison will spread, and not only will it ruin Kashmir and Jammu, it will spoil the whole country," the statement said.
The political draft resolution presented in the conference urged upon the Government of India to take bold initiatives to start a credible process of dialogue primarily with the voices of dissent and with Pakistan for resolving all outstanding issues, including Kashmir.
"The participants in one voice urged upon the governments of India and Pakistan to take measures for silencing the guns along the LoC and the border," it said.
It added that the violent approach will neither benefit India, nor Pakistan. “And such approach always has a devastating effect on the people of J&K. The latest killing of five members of a family in Poonch is a glaring example how people of the state have become cannon fodder of the Indo-Pak hostilities over the years,” the resolution said.