Army chief Gen V.K. Singh on Thursday slammed allegations that the army had a hand in the recent grenade attacks in the Kashmir Valley and said that the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was under the purview of the home ministry.
Gen Singh said whosoever made the comment against the army did not deserve any courtesy.
He was referring to charges made by National Conference leader Mustafa Kamal over militant attacks in the Kashmir Valley in the past two days. Kamal had later backtracked from his statement.
Gen Singh’s comments came on day when separatists in the Kashmir Valley called for a shutdown to protest against the presence of security forces in the region since 1947.
With the debate on AFSPA withdrawal growing, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had on Wednesday issued a clarification on the role of the army. He said the withdrawal of AFSPA from certain areas was in no way an effort to undermine the role of the army.
“The army is essentially playing a major role in anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir,” Omar said in a statement in Srinagar.
“Even the process of removal of AFSPA from certain areas of Jammu and Kashmir state is being done in close consultation with the army and other central paramilitary forces and their inputs and security concerns will be evaluated and considered while removing the footprint of AFSPA from certain parts of the state,” Omar said.