Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, serving Chief Indian Air Force, said today that the controversial Act is needed as a “legal protection” for soldiers fighting terrorists! It may be mentioned that Indian Air Force also bombed Aizawl, the capital of North Eastern state Mizoram in 1966.
While the controversial AFSPA ( Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 ) is condemned by many human rights group all over the world, its support by chief of Indian Air Force is significant.
“A soldier fighting anywhere at the request of the government, and not voluntarily, must have legal protection. Otherwise, he would be left inefficient to complete the job in which either the central or the state government has interest,” Naik told reporters ahead of the annual Air Force Day to be celebrated Friday.
However, it is the “government’s prerogative” to remove or dilute the AFSPA, he said.
The Air Force Chief was asked to comment on the Act that gives sweeping powers to the armed forces in their counter-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir and some parts of the Northeast.
The Act has come under severe criticism from some political circles and human rights activists who accuse the armed forces of misusing the law, which gives them legal immunity in case of a “collateral damage” during their operations against terrorists and insurgents.
While AFPSA is implemented in North East India and Jammu And Kashmir for terrorist activities, but AFSPA is not been imposed in Maoist infested central India so far.
News Source : Assam Tribune.