New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday hit back at senior Congress leader P Chidambaram for his comments on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju criticised Chidambaram saying that it was wrong on his part to make statements against AFSPA when his party is out of power.
Kiren Rijiju said, "Such issues can't be only dealt with by the government. It is matter of security. It is wrong that people make such statements, now that they are out of power and that the elections in Jammu and Kashmir are coming up."
Chidambaram had called AFSPA an "obnoxious law", and said it had no place in a modern and civilised country. The remarks came after the court gave life sentence to five Army personnel in the Machil fake encounter case in Jammu and Kashmir
"AFSPA is an obnoxious law that has no place in a modern, civilised country. It purports to incorporate the principle of immunity against prosecution without previous sanction. In reality, it allows the Armed Forces and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to act with impunity," Chidambaram had said.
Chidambaram said many cases have gone without investigation or punishment because of the AFSPA.
Chidambaram added that in 2010 the Home Ministry had initiated the process of amending AFSPA but it was resisted by the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence.
He has also appealed to the Central government to bring in a Bill to amend AFSPA during the winter session of Parliament.
Backing Chidambaram, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said, "We are trying to ensure that AFSPA is withdrawn. The National Conference government has done the most to see that AFSPA is repealed."
Criticising Chidambaram for the statement Minister of State for External Affairs General (retired) VK Singh said, "I don't give much importance to what Chidambaram says. He says something at one time and the next day he says something else."