Justice Verma panel for amendment to AFSPA

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 23, 2013 17:40 hrs

New Delhi: The Justice J.S. Verma Committee Wednesday recommended amendment to the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). The proposal was a part of the report to suggest ways to make rape laws stringent in the country.

In its 631-page voluminous report, the three-member committee has proposed amendment to Section 6 of the AFSPA which gives the Indian armed forces arbitrary powers in the states that have been declared "disturbed areas" riddled with militancy.

"No prosecution, suit or other legal proceedings shall be instituted, except sanction of the central government, against any person in respect of anything done or purported to be done in exercise of the powers conferred by this act," stated the report.

Currently, Jammu and Kashmir and four northeast states Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Assam are under the AFSPA. Security personnel have been accused of committing rapes in these regions where the forces enjoy special powers to tackle militancy and insurgency.

Rights activists have been demanding revocation of the AFSPA from these regions.

The Verma commitee was set up in the wake of the gruesome gang-rape and assault of a trainee physiotherapist in Delhi Dec 16 night in a moving bus which led to a nationwide outrage. The woman died in a Singapore hospital 13 days later.

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