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AFSPA is not a licence to kill: A simple set of questions for former CRPF IGP MP Nathanael over his TOI blog
A simple set of questions for MP Nathanael, former Inspector General of Police, CRPF, for his blog published on TOI, raising objections on 356 serving army personnel challenging the legality of actions taken against them under AFSPA in the apex court.

On September 1, TOI published a blog written by former IGP of CRPF, MP Nathanael, in which he says that AFSPA is not a licence to kill, and charges of extra judicial killings by security forces must be investigated. Perhaps IG Sahib is is living in an illusionary world. It is good to sermonise sitting within the comforts of your home but ground realities are quite different which only the army and security forces face. But since Nathaneal has raised these points, he must also be prepared to answer the following questions, honestly and truthfully.

Q1. AFSPA came into existence in 1958 when Nehru was the PM. The law was instrumental in checking insurgencies which were at their peak in Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The army used brute force and crushed insurgency movements armed with the special powers given to them under AFSPA. But why wasn't any voice raised on the need for investigation by the CBI during the Nehru era?

Q2. AFSPA clearly says that no action will be taken against any army personnel without the consent of the Central government. In other words, states have no power over the army under AFSPA. What is wrong with this? Investigation has not been denied, only the prerogative of ordering an inquiry has been kept with the Central government?

Q3. Every other day our army officers get killed in states where AFSPA is applicable, why this apathy towards our jawans, IG Sahib?

Q5. IG Sahib, you have written in your blog that the army has a well oiled machinery to detect aberrations. But still, it is always better to carry out investigations by an outside agency for objectivity. But then, why your own CRPF, the police force and all other government agencies insist upon departmental investigations for all wrong doings?

Q6. IG Sahib, your statement that in J&K, the joint operations by the army, CRPF and local police are proving to be very effective in neutralising jehadis is a total sham. These operations are now proving successful because the state is now under Governors rule. Wasn't your CRPF getting pelted with stones up till now?

Q7 IG Sahib, you have said that despite the army's presence in Manipur since four decades, insurgency still continues in the state. You must then educate us as to why in Manipur, which is one of the smaller states of India, around 6000 insurgents, heavily armed with Chinese weapons, are present and undergoing training? You must also explain to us, the uneducated, as to why despite CRPF carrying out operations against rag tag Naxals for last two decades, still its personnel get killed?

Finally, IG MP Nathanael Sahib, let me educate you on why and how nobody should caste doubt and try to dilute AFSPA! If that happens, the security of India will get badly compromised. The following points are of utmost importance:

·         Army is the last layer of protection against insurgency. It is the responsibility of the police and CPOs to maintain law and order. However, if the army has to be called in, it means that things are beyond the control of police and human rights etc must take back seat.

·         The army is trained on the concept of shoot to kill. How can you start investigating an organisation that is shooting to kill? Then why call the army to control a situation?

·         Even the Indian Constitution gives total impunity to the army under AFSPA; of course on sanction from the Central govt that any wrong doings will be investigated and punished.

·         The Indian Constitution also lays down that if deemed necessary, martial law can also be imposed and the state government in power dissolved.

There is also no mention of any Joint Command in the Indian Constitution, as is happening now. This must stop forthwith.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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