AFSPA To End During My Govt's Tenure: Omar

20 March 2009

New Delhi: The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which has been in force for nearly two decades in militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir, will come to an end during the tenure of his government, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said. Talking to journalists in Srinagar after the Army submitted its report on the killing of two youths in Bomai-Sopore last month, Omar said, 'I am the first chief minister who has assured on the floor of state assembly that AFSPA will be withdrawn. 'Things are changing fast towards normalisation and I can assure that this Act will come to an end during the tenure of National Conference-Congress government,' Omar said. The Army earlier submitted its report into the February 21 killing of two youths at Bomai village near Sopore town in North Kashmir. A junior commissioned officer and two soldiers were indicted for 'various lapses' in connection with a firing incident and the Army ordered 'disciplinary action against the three...which will commence with immediate effect'. Omar said his government did not believe in only ordering a magisterial probe and then forget about them. 'I only ensured that the Army probe and investigations by the police were completed in a time-bound manner. This has happened,' he said. Earlier in the day, a court of inquiry had found three Indian Army personnel guilty of killing civilians in Jammu and Kashmir last month and court martial proceedings will be initiated against them soon. The court of inquiry was conducted by a brigadier of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps. 'One JCO (Junior Commissioned Officer) and two jawans (soldiers) have been held guilty of not exercising adequate command and control and also not exercising restraint in using their weapons,' an army official said.