Amnesty ‘okay;’ can’t support releasing prisoners, scrapping AFSPA: BJP

Amnesty ‘okay;’ can’t support releasing prisoners, scrapping AFSPA: BJP

 

Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, Nov 26: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is facing stiff opposition in Jammu region for state government granting amnesty to first time offenders has made it clear that it would oppose the release of political prisoners and any move aimed at scrapping Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state.
A senior BJP leader while talking to Precious Kashmir said that the amnesty to the children who were instigated by other people is “okay” but “We won’t support any move to withdraw cases against the instigators. Since the day they have been arrested situation in Kashmir has improved manifolds and semblance of peace has returned to the Valley,” he added.
Sources told this newspaper that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is trying to build the pressure on the central government to soften its policy towards the separatists. “The PDP wants the centre’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma to talk to the separatists. The PDP leaders know it very well that before any talks are initiated with the separatists in Kashmir ground needs to be cleared for it. Releasing political prisoners could be a good beginning,” they added.
Its in place to mention here that Sharma, who is presently touring Jammu and Kashmir has made it clear that political prisoners won’t be released and he would see whether he would meet the Hurriyat leaders or not.
On the other hand BJP has made it clear that it would oppose any move which would be aimed at scrapping Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Jammu and Kashmir. “This law is needed to deal with the militants any militancy. Any step towards revoking it will be opposed tooth and nail,” said another BJP leader.
A Kashmir watcher said that holding talks with the separatists is not going to be an easy task for the interlocutor as the state BJP has already made it clear that it won’t support any moves to address the contentious issues. “The ruling Peoples Democratic party knows it very well that if immediate steps are not taken to address the issues related to separatists then it won’t be easy for the party to cover the lost ground,” he added.
He said, “BJP is trying to safeguard its constituency is Jammu and seems least interested in Kashmir, PDP’s constituency. Till now PDP has handled all the issues smartly and at times has kept the BJP away from the decision making process. The PDP is trying to coordinate with the Centre directly and is trying its best to get whatever it can. Both the coalition partners are treading different paths but PDP is getting its way.”