Omar to raise repeal of AFSPA at CMs' meet
Enthused by the drastic decline in militancy and an all- pervasive
upbeat mood in the state, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar
Abdullah is determined to raise the issue of repeal of AFSPA from
some areas in the state
New Delhi: The
central government and chief ministers will Monday discuss the
internal security situation in the country in the backdrop of
recent high-profile abductions by the Maoists in Odisha to secure
release of prisoners and the need to strengthen counter terrorism
capabilities and intelligence apparatus.
The day-long meeting will be inaugurated by Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh and will be addressed by Home Minister P.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.
Jayalalithaa, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah are among those
expected to take part in the meeting. West Bengal Chief Minister
Mamata Banerjee, the supremo of the Trinamool Congress, an ally of
the ruling United Progressive Alliance, is unlikely to attend.
While chief ministers will raise state-specific issues, they are
likely to demand more funds for police modernisation.
With Maoists in Odisha holding Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator
Jhina Hikaka captive for the past 20 days, the meeting is expected
to discuss ways to contain left wing extremism.
Maoists had Thursday released Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo
after keeping him in captivity for nearly a month. Another
Italian, Claudio Colangelo, had been released earlier.
Sources said issues of police reforms, coastal security and
centre-state relations. will be discussed at the meeting.
The internal security meeting comes in the bckdrop of a raging
debate on the contours of the proposed National Counter Terrorism
Centre (NCTC) for which the central government has called a
separate meeting May 5.
Banerjee, whose party is a constituent of the ruling United
Progressive Alliance (UPA), is among the vocal opponents of NCTC
proposal in its present form. Several other chief ministers
including those of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Odisha have conveyed
their opposition to the proposed anti-terror intelligence hub,
saying it would infringe on the state's rights.
The sources said Omar Abdullah is likely to demand revocation of
the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from some areas in the
state in view of improvement in the ground situation.
AFSPA offers legal immunity to the security forces in their
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is expected to demand more
funds for border area development programmes. He is also likely to
demand additional India Reserve Police (IRP) battalions and funds
for police modernisation, a state government official told IANS.
The centre, on its part, is expected to tell the states to fill
pending vacancies in their police forces.
Chidambaram, who has been aggressively following with state
governments the issue of police reforms and encouraging beat
policing, would deliver the opening address to the chief
Sources said Chidambaram was expected to seek greater cooperation
from state governments in tackling terror, particularly
pre-empting it with better intelligence-sharing mechanism.
The sources said activities of Pakistan-based terror outfits and
insurgency in the northeast, combating economic offences,
especially counterfeit currency notes, would be discussed at
length during the Monday meeting.
The other issues to be discussed at the meeting include
information collection system -- both technical and human
intelligence, its proper sharing and necessary action,
procurement of arms and ammunition and Crime and Criminal Tracking
Network System (CCTNS).
A senior Trinamool leader said in Kolkata that Banerjee was
unlikely to attend the annual chief minister's meeting but would
attend the May 5 meeting on NCTC.
"As far as I know, she wont be coming for the Monday meeting, but
she will come for the May 5 NCTC meeting," the leader said on
condition of anonymity.