The recent firing by the army had costed 2 innocent lives in the Kashmir. This was latest killing done by the soldier. The first reason given by the army was not convincing and they finally apologized & announced the compensation. The outside world came to know the incident only through the lone survivor, who escaped from the spot. If there were no witness for the incident, this shooting too should have ignored and the victims may sealed as terrorists.
AFSPA or Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act provides the army with special powers, which allows the military to do whatever it wants at gunpoint. Once the law is enforced on an area declared disturbed, the armed forces become unaccountable to anyone for whatever brutalities they commit on people. Apart from killing, it allows army to arrest without a warrant anyone who is reasonably suspected of having done so and may use force if needed for the arrest. The AFSPA allows legal immunity to the army officers for their actions. There can be no prosecution, suit or any other legal proceeding against anyone acting under that law. Nor is the government’s judgment on why an area is found to be disturbed subject to judicial review.
This act is widely criticized for alleged concerns on human rights violations. On 23 March 2009, UN Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay asked India to repeal the AFSPA. She termed the law as “dated and colonial-era law that breach contemporary international human rights standards. Irom Chanu Sharmila also known as the “Iron Lady of Manipur” or “Mengoubi” (“the fair one”) is a civil rights activist, political activist, and poet from the Indian state of Manipur. On 2 November 2000, she began a hunger strike which is still ongoing. On 2 November 2000, in Malom, a town in the Imphal Valley of Manipur, ten civilians were shot and killed while waiting at a bus stop. The incident, known as the “Malom Massacre”, was allegedly committed by the Assam Rifles, one of the Indian Paramilitary forces operating in the state.
Many human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch (HRW) have condemned human rights abuses in Kashmir by police such as “extra-judicial executions”, “disappearances”, and torture; the “Armed Forces Special Powers Act”, which “provides impunity for human rights abuses and fuels cycles of violence. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) grants the military wide powers of arrest, the right to shoot to kill, and to occupy or destroy property in counterinsurgency operations.
The people of the Kashmir continue to suffer from both the militants and from the Indian Army. The government instead of acting on the human rights violation is still acting deaf-blindness. The victims are the poor and ordinary people who are unable to raise their voice. Unless the government should recall the AFSPA Act which gives limitless power to the forces to commit crime, several innocent lives will be lost.