New Delhi: The three-member Justice Verma Committee on Wednesday sought review of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) - a suggestion that may be welcomed by social groups and activists who have been demanding abolition or amendment of the act. The act allows an officer of the armed forces to use measures such as make unwarranted arrests or search any premises to make arrests.
The extreme clauses in the law, which has been implemented in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and was later extended to Jammu and Kashmir, have led to misuse of the powers given to the para-military forces, with civil rights activists launching widespread protests demanding its rollback.
Presenting the report to the Ministry of Home Affairs, a member of the committee Gopal Subramaniam said that soldiers facing assault charges should be tried under criminal law and the AFSPA on the whole should be put under review.
Irom Sharmila, an activist from Manipur, has been on indefinite hunger strike since 2000, demanding that the often termed 'draconian' act, passed in 1958, be repealed.