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Omar to repeal AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
February 26, 2009 23:17 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir, chief minister, Omar Abdullah assured the state assembly on Thursday that he will repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Disturbed Areas Act 'if the situation continued to improve' in Kashmir.

Replying to the adjournment motions moved by the ruling National Conference and the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party in the state assembly on the recent killing of two youth allegedly in army firing at Bomai in Sopore, Omar said, "Those responsible for killing of innocent people will be handed down exemplary punishment."

The chief minister said that his government will not tolerate the killing of innocent persons,  at any cost, whoever the killers might be, adding that the "if the situation continues to improve the way it has been improving, the coalition government will work towards withdrawal of laws like AFSPA and Disturbed Areas Act in Jammu and Kashmir."

Omar said, "As soon as I heard about the Bomai incident, I ordered a time-bound enquiry, without taking any time."

He said that "it is for the first time that a time-bound enquiry has been ordered in such kind of incident to fix responsibility" adding that "many enquiries ordered in the past are either lingering or gathering dust". "I don't require any such enquiries which take years to submit report by which time people forget the incident", he added.

The PDP on Wednesday forced the state governor, NN Vohra to cut short his speech to the joint session of the state legislature on its opening day of the budget session by vociferously demanding the repeal of the two laws enforced in the state since 1990 to deal with the militancy.

The state government has been facing violent protests in capital city and other north Kashmir areas, following the killing the two youth and the mysterious killing of a close relative of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief, Yasin Malik in Srinagar..

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar