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Disturbed Areas Act 1997 not in force in J-K: state govt


Jammu:  Jammu and Kashmir government today said that Disturbed Areas Act (DAA) 1997 has lapsed and is not in force in the state.

Rejecting a resolution regarding revocation of DAA brought by National Conference member Bashir Ahmed Veeri in the Legislative Council today, its chairman Amrit Malhotra said that the government has informed that Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act 1997 was valid for only one year and has lapsed on October 7, 1998.

“At present the DAA is not in force in the state,” Additional Secretary to J&K Legislative Council said in reply to the resolution brought by the member to hold discussion over it in the House.

“Therefore the resolution submitted by you (Veeri) for the revocation of DAA has been disallowed,” the official said in the communication to the member.

Veeri who raised the issue in the House and batted strongly for a debate stood up from the seat and walked into Well to protest the decision of the Chairman.

“I had moved resolution to adjourn the business and allow a discussion on this important issue which has serious and wider ramifications,” he said.

As he was protesting, the Chairman of the Council Amrit Malhotra said, “I have rejected it after giving full reply to your resolution”.

As he continued his protest, the Chairman asked the marshals to take him out of the House.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had yesterday said that the government will undertake denotification of areas of DAA in a gradual way in bid to remove Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

“Some areas will be denotified from Disturbed Areas Act. By gradual process–I cannot do it in one go–but I will do it,” Mufti had told Legislative Council yesterday.

Mufti maintained that Army, which is apprehensive over this move, will be taken on-board over the decision.

“I will do it with their (Army’s) consultation and after taking them on board”, Mufti had said.

The Chief Minister had said “I want to say this that they (Army) have apprehensions (over revocation of AFSPA)– I will not suddenly jump (to remove it.  We will see how can we find out a way.”

In 2002, Jammu and Kashmir Home department issued notification under Section 3 of AFSPA 1990 continuing imposition of Disturbed Areas Act and AFSPA in J-K.

The National Conference and Congress demanded that the state government make its stand clear on the status of AFSPA in the state.

Later speaking to reporters, Veeri said that it is a serious issue and there is question mark on continuance of AFSPA.

He demanded that government should come clear on the issue.

Congress Legislative Party leader Nawang Rigzin Jora said that the Chief Minister should clarify its stand on DAA and the status of AFSPA.

Reacting to it, Education Minister Naeem Akhter told reporters, “We must believe the judgement of the Honourable Chairman of the Council who has not allowed discussion on it.”

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