The state government has sent 50 cases for prosecution sanction against the armed forces personnel under Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1990 since 2001. However, the Union government has denied the permission in all the cases.
Minister of state in the Ministry of Defence, Dr. Subhash Bhamre in response to an unstarred question in Rajya Sabha early this month said a total of 50 cases have been received by the Union government from the government of Jammu and Kashmir for prosecution sanction against armed Forces personnel under AFSPA, 1990 since 2001. He said the reason for “denial/ pendency” of prosecution sanction is on account of lack of sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case.
The cases include “killing after abduction” “outraging the modesty of a woman”, "the disappearance of civilians, rape, and torture and killing."
The highest number of cases sent for the prosecution sanction by the State government is in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, the state government has sent 17 cases for the prosecution sanction while as in 2007, 13 cases have been sent for prosecution sanction.
From 2008 to 2014, when Omar Abdullah was Chief Minister, 14 cases were sent for sanction of prosecution. While as one case has been sent for prosecution sanction in for past two years in Mehbooba Mufti-led government.
Human rights activists say in past 27 years of the conflict sanction has not been granted by the central government in any case.
The AFSPA was implemented in J&K on September 10, 1990, after a notification was issued by the State government declaring Kashmir Valley as the disturbed area under section 3 of law. Later on August 10, 2001, the State government extending disturbed area provision to Jammu province.
During his six-year tenure, former chief minister Omar Abdullah constantly demanded the gradual withdrawal of the AFSPA from “peaceful areas” of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Army has been rejecting any proposal to withdraw the AFSPA even from Srinagar and Jammu cities. Even in one of presentation before Omar Abdullah, when he was Chief Minister, the Army had said those demanding withdrawal of the AFSPA were coming from Pakistan, the ISI, militants and secessionists. The Army in November 2011 argued, “country could be compelled to grant the State independence by 2016 if government plans to lift AFPSA from some areas.”
National political parties, including the Congress and the BJP, also say that the armed forces should have the final say on the issue.
However, ruling People’s Democratic Party and BJP - the partners of the coalition government in J&K - conceded in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the parties, which is being described Agenda of Alliance that they have historically held different views on the AFSPA.
But they have said the government will examine the need for denotifying the "disturbed areas" in the state."This, as a consequence, will enable the Union government to take a final view on the continuation of AFSPA in these areas," the CMP states. But the PDP-BJP government has not anything to make any progress on the issue.