Why we don’t need AFSPA in kashmir?!

Let us start with what this AFSPA is? I have noticed so many kids in social media and blogging world shouting and ranting on why AFSPA is needed in kashmir and most of them don’t belong to the place. They are no wrong, even i would have done so if were a little dumb. I’m not ridiculing anyone’s feelings of patriotism and nationalism, i just want you people to understand the other side of the coin, a perspective from the eyes who have spent their childhood in the very place. Saying this, i declare that i’m an Indian and i love india more than any of so called AFSPA supporters do.

What AFSPA means to you?
Armed forces special powers act. (Thats it). How many of you actually know how it helps to reduce terrorism? or how many of you know what terrorism means?! In conversation with a highly intellectual friend of mine from New Delhi about the very thing, he gave his definition of AFSPA, I hope most of you can relate to it.
“AFSPA is empowering the forces to tackle terrorism at any front, be it in city, outside city, forests or anywhere. It is giving army the power to decide about how’s and why’s of the situation without feeling the need to consult the local police or the government authorities. True, AFSPA may lead to a situaion where wrong doing’s may happen but it is all in the interests of nation ultimately.”

What AFSPA means to me and other kashmiri’s?
AFSPA means occupation and brutal use of force on innocents. No, I’m not shooting arrows in air, i will justify what i say. I happened to board a bus from a place called as ‘Baramulla’ to ‘Sialkote’, just to pay visit to a holy place there. It was mid july so i preffered to sit near window to let some air in. We reached a place where we have an army camp, and before we reached the place we were told to shut down all the windows and stop the bus. I was not knowing the purpose and couldn’t understand why it was done, when we passed the camp i was told that we have an army camp here and they do it regularly, on asking about why they do not protest, he replied, “I HAVE MY FAMILY”, I got the obvious meaning. Nevertheless, closing down the windows of buses near army posts in not my reason for writing this post, i reached my destination in about two hours and went to visit the holy place. To my surprise, i found, ‘Gorkha Regiment’ name plate on the gate of the gurudwara which had “Satnam Waheguru’ written there when i visited last. We had to wait for five minutes and show our identities to the concerned army people before we were let in and we were told that we should leave before 7pm or else we won’t be allowed to leave the premises. As i entered in, i found that most of the gurudwara area has been compromised with army posts and the beauty of the place was no more there. We returned disappointed that evening. This was blessing of AFSPA. AFSPA wants army posts at places wherever they wish, be it schools,gurudwara’s, mosques, houses, rice fields, apple orchids, anywhere.
My question is,
Would you like an army post in your garden, or near your house, or in temple you visit daily?!

The Articles in the Constitution of India empower state governments to declare a state of emergency due to one or more of the following reasons:

* Failure of the administration and the local police to tackle local issues.
* Return of (central) security forces leads to return of miscreants/erosion of the “peace dividend”.
* The scale of unrest or instability in the state is too large for local forces to handle.

As far as i see, the local issues are well tackled by J&K Police?! Aren’t they? Police found clues to ‘Delhi Blasts’ from Kishtwar in no time, don’t you think they should be doing good in their own area?! Something to think for?

The reason for maintaining AFSPA in kashmir is the third one, ‘ The scale of unrest or instability in the state is too large for local forces to handle.’
But is situation really that bad?!

According to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), in an area that is proclaimed as “disturbed”, an officer of the armed forces has powers to:

* “Fire upon or otherwise use force, even to the causing of death, against any person who is acting in contravention of any law” against “assembly of five or more persons” or possession of deadly weapons.

I will lead you to the conclusions of this point.
Area Ushkara Baramulla Kashmir.
An eleventh standard guy was coming home from a nearby place after a dinner party. Would you take your all identity documents when you go see your uncle for a dinner?! I won’t, and so did he, as he was returning he was stopped near army post and asked to show his identity proof, he had none and requested that his place was nearby and he can get that if necessary. He was told to run and get it, as he turned back and took a step forward, he was shot. Who did that?! This isn’t just a story, there is a case filed against army in police station baramulla on 23july 2010.

# To arrest without a warrant and with the use of “necessary” force anyone who has committed certain offenses or is suspected of having done so.

Everyone in world knows the fact that if you have to disappear just buy a ticket to kashmir, i won’t say much on disappearances and leave everything for you to decide, just have a very good look at this.

Over 2700 unmarked graves have been identified by the 11-member police team of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in four districts of north Kashmir. Despite claims of the local police that the graves contained dead bodies of “unidentified militants”, the report points out that 574 bodies have been identified as disappeared locals – 17 of these have already been exhumed and shifted to family or village grave sites.
Its fine if you believe Amnesty International is a useless and fuded org. Is al jazeera, an international media channel also the same, decide for yourself.

And now if you want to argue that all those who disappeared were terrorists or linked to terrorism in some way, i would like you to consider this facebook page where innocents hold pictures of their parents, brothers and relatives for justice

#Third power of AFSPA
To enter and search any premise in order to make such arrests.

We all know how many houses and schools have been demolished in the name of terrorism.
I would like you to go visit this blog for citations

And after all this, AFSPA adds salt to the wounds of kashmiri’s and gives Army officers legal immunity for their actions. There can be no prosecution, suit or any other legal proceeding against anyone acting under that law.:(

How ‘Human Rights’ views it?
The act has been criticized by Human Rights Watch as a “tool of state abuse, oppression and discrimination”

The South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre argues that the governments’ call for increased force is part of the problem.

“This reasoning exemplifies the vicious cycle which has been instituted in the North East due to the AFSPA. The use of the AFSPA pushes the demand for more autonomy, giving the people of the North East more reason to want to secede from a state which enacts such powers and the agitation which ensues continues to justify the use of the AFSPA from the point of view of the Indian Government.” – The South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre.
In addition to this, there have been claims of disappearances by the police or the army in Kashmir by several human rights organizations.
A soldier guards the roadside checkpoint outside Srinagar International Airport in January 2009.

Many human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch (HRW) have condemned human rights abuses in Kashmir by Indians such as “extra-judicial executions”, “disappearances”, and torture; the “Armed Forces Special Powers Act”, which “provides impunity for human rights abuses and fuels cycles of violence.
The Wikileaks diplomatic cables have recently disclosed that Indian government employees agree to acts of human rights violations on part of the Indian armed forces and various paramilitary forces deployed in the north and north east.

I hope this changes mindset towards kashmir and develops an understanding on ‘why we don’t need bloody AFSPA.’

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