N N Vohra welcomes Shah’s statement on troops withdrawal, AFSPA

NEW DELHI — Former governor of Jammu and Kashmir N N Vohra on Wednesday hailed Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement that the Centre plans to pull back troops from the Union Territory and leave law and order to the police there.

Vohra also welcomed Shah’s intention to revoke the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir.

He hoped that the government would follow a similar approach and withdraw the military from other areas in the country where it may have been deployed for long periods to carry out internal security duties.

“The state police must be made to discharge its primary duty of maintaining public order and free the military to return to its essential duties,” Vohra said in a statement here.

In an interview on Tuesday, Shah said the government has plans to pull back troops and leave law and order to the Jammu and Kashmir Police alone.

Shah had also said that the Central government will consider revoking AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir.

The AFSPA gives the armed forces personnel, operating in the disturbed areas, sweeping powers to search, arrest and to open fire if they deem it necessary for “the maintenance of public order”.

Shah had earlier said the AFSPA has been removed in 70 per cent areas in the northeastern states even though it is in force in J&K.

Vohra was governor of Jammu and Kashmir from 2008 to 2018 before the state was bifurcated and turned into a UT.

He had also served as the home secretary of Punjab during the period of serious disturbances after Operation Bluestar, and later, as defence secretary and home secretary with the Central government. — (PTI)