Omar’s olive branch to army on AFSPA

Jammu : Extending a hand of cooperation toward the Indian Army to get the Armed Forces Special Powers Act lifted from some parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has offered to amend the Ranbir Penal Code, which is special to the state, to bring it in line with the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr PC) to provide protective cover to the armed forces in counter-insurgency operations, sources said Thursday.

Abdullah, who has been pressing for partially lifting the AFSPA, revealed his latest move while briefing the state cabinet Thursday, the sources said. Earlier, he had dropped a hint to this effect while talking to media persons at a dinner hosted by him Wednesday evening.

Briefing the cabinet ministers Thursday, the chief minister said that a move would be made to amend the Ranbir Penal Code to bring it at par with national level, thus providing powers and immunity to the security forces.

“This will help address concerns of the army,” the chief minister told the cabinet ministers.

The army has voiced serious reservations over the repealing of AFSPA from some parts of Jammu and Kashmir, claiming that it would “hamper” their operations in the terrorism-inflicted state.

Jammu and Kashmir has its own Ranbir Penal Code because of Article 370 of the constitution that grants special status to the state.

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