Question: The AFSPA law is a blatant violation of human rights and dignity. Critically analyse the continuance of AFSPA in various parts of the country.
Answer: The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 is a parliamentary law that came into existence to tackle various armed insurgencies across the country. The law has been designed to give unparallel powers to the armed forces in terms of operation in certain regions.
- Martial powers
The law will result in martial law in a given area. The majority of security decisions are made by the armed forces. They can use force to implement their decisions.
Armed forces operating in areas with AFSPA have legal immunity to any action committed during their operation. They cannot be charged for their role.
Criticism of AFSPA
- Human rights violation
There have been complaints that AFSPA gives full powers to armed forces to commit human rights violation in the name of law and order.
- Non accountability
The killing of an innocent civilian or any loss of property cannot be claimed. The armed forces have limited accountability when it comes to their actions.
Need for AFSPA
- Continuance of insurgency
In many parts of the country, insurgency is still going on and it will take lot of effort to completely eradicate the problem. In such situation, AFSPA will have to remain.
- Incompetence of civilian forces
Civilian police forces do not have operational edge as compared to militants. To tackle militants professional armed force is needed and battle ground rules will apply.
Thus, AFSPA cannot be taken away at an instant. There have to be alternative plans to boost security in case armed forces are withdrawn and civilian forces take charge.