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Amnesty for AFSPA review every 6 months

By Spl Correspondent
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NEW DELHI, July 1 � The Amnesty International today reiterating a Supreme Court judgement, said declaration of an area as �disturbed� � a precondition for application of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) � should be reviewed every six months.

Releasing a report �Denied: Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir�, the international human rights body said that in 2005, a committee headed by BP Jeevan Reddy, a former Supreme Court judge, which was formed by the apex court to review the AFSPA, 1958 after the alleged rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama Devi in Imphal, Manipur by security forces, in its report observed that the law had become �a symbol of oppression, an object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high-handedness.�

In 2012, a committee headed by JS Verma, a former Chief Justice of India, was established by the Central Government to review laws against sexual assault, following the gang-rape of a young woman in Delhi. The committee said sexual violence against women by members of the armed forces or uniformed personnel should be brought under the purview of ordinary criminal law.

To ensure this, the committee recommended the AFSPA be amended to remove the requirement of sanction to prosecute from the Central Government for prosecuting security force personnel for crimes involving violence against women.

Although new laws on violence against women were passed in April 2013, including the removal of the need for sanction to prosecute government officials for crimes involving violence against women, the recommended amendment to the AFSPA was ignored.

In January 2013, a commission headed by N Santosh Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, was appointed by the Supreme Court in response to a public interest litigation seeking investigation into 1,528 cases of alleged extrajudicial executions committed in Manipur between 1978 and 2010.

The commission was established to determine whether six cases randomly chosen by the court were �encounter� deaths � where security forces had fired in self-defence against members of armed groups � or extrajudicial executions. It was also mandated to evaluate the role of the security forces in Manipur, it said.

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Amnesty for AFSPA review every 6 months

NEW DELHI, July 1 � The Amnesty International today reiterating a Supreme Court judgement, said declaration of an area as �disturbed� � a precondition for application of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) � should be reviewed every six months.

Releasing a report �Denied: Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir�, the international human rights body said that in 2005, a committee headed by BP Jeevan Reddy, a former Supreme Court judge, which was formed by the apex court to review the AFSPA, 1958 after the alleged rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama Devi in Imphal, Manipur by security forces, in its report observed that the law had become �a symbol of oppression, an object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high-handedness.�

In 2012, a committee headed by JS Verma, a former Chief Justice of India, was established by the Central Government to review laws against sexual assault, following the gang-rape of a young woman in Delhi. The committee said sexual violence against women by members of the armed forces or uniformed personnel should be brought under the purview of ordinary criminal law.

To ensure this, the committee recommended the AFSPA be amended to remove the requirement of sanction to prosecute from the Central Government for prosecuting security force personnel for crimes involving violence against women.

Although new laws on violence against women were passed in April 2013, including the removal of the need for sanction to prosecute government officials for crimes involving violence against women, the recommended amendment to the AFSPA was ignored.

In January 2013, a commission headed by N Santosh Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, was appointed by the Supreme Court in response to a public interest litigation seeking investigation into 1,528 cases of alleged extrajudicial executions committed in Manipur between 1978 and 2010.

The commission was established to determine whether six cases randomly chosen by the court were �encounter� deaths � where security forces had fired in self-defence against members of armed groups � or extrajudicial executions. It was also mandated to evaluate the role of the security forces in Manipur, it said.