Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) should be repealed from the places where Army is not required. Omar said the issue of AFSPA is not on the "backburner", and if Irom Sharmila can fast in protest against AFSPA for 12 long years why can't he just speak against it.
"The areas where we don't need Army, AFSPA can be revoked from those places. Our discussion with the Centre on this issue is on and we have not put it on any backburner. I believe that we are right on this issue and we will continue to support our demand," Omar said while addressing the Legislative Council.
"A lady is on fast since last 12 years, only for the removal of AFSPA. In her comparison I have done nothing, I am just talking about its revocation. I never said to remove it entirely, I am not that much senseless and even if would have said that my colleagues would have stopped me from doing that. I am just saying that remove it from the parts where it is not needed," Omar said.
The Chief Minister referred to the recent attack by the Naxalites on the Indian Airforce helicopter in Dantewada, Chattisgarh, in this regard and said when you don't need AFSPA there why do you need the Act in the state here. "You don't need AFSPA to protect your helicopters but you need it here," Omar said.
Omar said that he was not politicising the issue and the allegations would only have been true if he would have asked for the revocation being in the opposition. "I am not politicising the issue. It would have been wrong if I would have been in the opposition and demanded to repeal AFSPA where I would have known that nothing could be done," he said.