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Jammu and Kashmir Gujjar leaders meet Antony, request him not to revoke AFSPA

New Delhi, Sat, 10 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 10 (ANI): A delegation of Akhil Bharatiya Gujjar Mahasabha leaders representing the Gujjar Bakarwal tribal community of Jammu and Kashmir met Defence Minister A K Antony at his residence here on Saturday requesting him to not to revoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state.


"The debate on AFSPA that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir wants to hold, we want to say that we strongly oppose it and request the Defence minister to take into confidence the Gujjar Bakarwal community of the state before taking any decision on it," said Ishfaq ur Rehman Poswal, president, Akhil Bharatiya Gujjar Mahasabha.


He further said the revocation of the act would jeopardize the community living in the border areas as the community is constantly troubled in militants and therefore urged the defence minister not to revoke the act.


The delegation also discussed issues pertaining to the tribal people living near the border areas of the state demanding special package for the youth of the community in the state.


The Army has voiced serious reservations over withdrawal of the AFSPA from certain parts, citing security concerns.


The Defence Ministry had earlier made it clear that the decision on removing AFSPA would be taken by the Unified Command.


The Jammu and Kashmir Government had earlier suggested the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from some areas in the state, where the army has not worked for years.


The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) 1958, confers special powers upon armed forces in what the act calls "disturbed areas" in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. It was later extended to Jammu and Kashmir as The Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act in July 1990. (ANI)


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