New Delhi, Sept 21 (IANS): The Indian Army is not responsible for the current turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir, Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju said here today, ruling out any dilution or revocation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the troubled State.
"The Army is not responsible for the current situation in Kashmir," Raju told reporters at an interaction at the Indian Women's Press Corps here.
He said AFSPA is a "necessary security blanket" which the Army needs to fight terrorism. "The situation in Kashmir has not come down to normalcy and the (AFSPA) Act cannot be amended or removed even from select areas," he added.
Kashmir's political parties, barring the Congress, as also the separatist groups, have demanded the lifting of the AFSPA. An all-party delegation is currently in the state to review the ground situation in the wake of 103 people, maingly teenagers and youth, being killed since June 11 in retaliatory fire by the security forces against stone-pelting protesters in the Kashmir Valley.