New Delhi: After Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Prashant Bhushan fluffed a few feathers saying there ought to be a referendum regarding the deployment of troops in the Kashmir valley, his party distanced itself from the remarks.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal noted that decisions on internal security are taken according to the law and order situation in the concerned area and hence there cannot be any referendum on army deployment in the valley.
"Deployment of the army within the country should be decided on the basis of internal security threat. There is no question of a referendum on this. But we believe the sentiments of locals should be respected. Otherwise democracy will be under threat," Kejriwal replied when asked about Bhushan's comments. "AAP does not support referendum on such issues," the new Delhi CM reiterated.
Bhushan had said a public opinion should be carried out in Kashmir to decide on deployment of the army to deal with security threats in the valley. He also demanded lifting of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in J&K, saying it gave the army immunity in cases of human rights violation while causing alienation among the people.
"It is very important for us to win the hearts and minds of the people and prevent alienation. For that, the first thing which needs to be done is to remove AFSPA, which gives the army immunity in (cases of) human rights violations," Bhushan had told a TV channel on Sunday.
The army's deployment for internal security purposes should be effected only with the consent of the people, except in cases where the rights of minorities need to be protected, Bhushan, who in 2011 stirred a controversy by demanding a plebiscite in the state, had noted.