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Army wants AFSPA to deal with Militants and stonepelters – Sources

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Army wants AFSPA to deal with Militants and stonepelters -Sources

With the increasing distress in the valley ,Indian Army has called for strict action against those who have been damaging government property. But on other hand Army has also expressed its desire for a positive social media outreach programme and full protective cover under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA in a bid to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA), are Acts of the Parliament of India that grant special powers to the Indian Armed Forces in what each act terms “disturbed areas”.According to The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976 once declared ‘disturbed’, the area has to maintain status quo for a minimum of 3 months.

The Army which has put in place the counter-insurgency strategy said that a social media outreach programme is the need of the hour. It could have a positive effect on the youth of the Valley.

It would be an outreach programme, the Army has suggested. Further the Army has also said that the problem is not across the Valley. The focus would be on five districts in the state which are most trouble-hit.

While seeking authority over the CAPF, the Army has said that there is an urgent need to protect the force. Pictures of the personnel of the CAPF being targeted by the stone pelters and some youth of the Valley have been in circulation and this had a demoralising effect on the force. This needs to stop at once the Army has also said.

The Army has also called for strict action against those who have been damaging government property in the Valley. Housing them in prisons alone would not be enough. They need to be booked under the appropriate laws, the Army has further suggested.

The Army says that it needs to work under the full cover of AFSPA. The debate on this law is unnecessary at this point of time. The Army at times would need to act strongly and for this the cover of a law is necessary, the Army has further said. IN such situations, the Army cannot work under the fear of being summoned by the police for investigation which drags on for years. AFSPA is a necessity which would be used sparingly and in situations that mandate it, the Indian Army has further told the centre.

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Government approves security plan worth 2 lakh crore for 50 crore Indians

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The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has given its approval to the labour ministry proposal on universal social security cover for 500 million workers before the all too important 2019 elections.

The finance and labour ministries will work out the details of the scheme that will require nearly Rs 2 lakh crore when fully rolled out for the lower 40% of the country’s total workforce. The remaining 60% of the workforce is expected to make contributions out of their own pocket, either fully or partially.

The idea of the scheme is pretty much self-explanatory; the labour ministry seeks the poorest in line to be aided by the scheme at the earliest and have requested the finance ministry for the same. An official went on to say that the scheme would take at least 5-10 year to come into effect in full force. The official said: “This would require a significantly less amount to start with and the fund allocation to the scheme can be enhanced later over the next 5-10 years to make it universal.”

This will be the second mass-benefit social scheme after the National Health Protection Scheme announced earlier that will provide Rs 5 lakh health cover to 100 million poor families.

The move comes a year before the general elections, indicating that the ruling government is working towards improving its dented image, especially in the farm and agriculture sector.

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SC issues notice to the centre on hotelier Kesav Suri petition seeking to quash section 377 of IPC

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked the Centre government to file its response to hotelier Keshav Suri’s petition challenging the criminalization of gay sex between two consenting adults.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A M Khanwilkar, and D Y Chandrachud said the petition shall be tagged with a similar joint plea filed by five celebrities which have been placed before a Constitutional bench. “Let a copy of this petition be served on the ASG and the Centre shall file a response within one week”, the bench said.

Keshav Suri, executive director at The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, had moved to the Supreme Court seeking a declaration that right to choice of sexual orientation is embedded in Article 21 of the Constitution and that criminalization of sexual intercourse between two consenting adults of the same sex is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi Suri represented Keshav Suri while ASG Tushar Mehta appeared for Centre.

The petition said Section 377 IPC is “unconstitutional and incapable of inapplicable to consenting homosexual adults”.

The petition also referred to the judgment of the Supreme Court in NALSA vs Union of India wherein the Supreme Court recognized the third gender and ascertained that they get their due rights and said there exists no rational basis for any person to be criminalized only because of a choice exercised by them in their private life to love and have consensual sexual relations with another individual of the same sex.

The Supreme Court has earlier said that a larger group of judges would revisit and examine the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a law that criminalises sexual activities “against the law of nature”.

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code states, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

The Delhi High Court had decriminalised Section 377, but the order was later set aside by a Supreme-Court bench.

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Dialogue is the only way for India, Pakistan to move forward on Kashmir issue: Omar Abdullah

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SRINAGAR: Speaking at “the path forward in Kashmir” event at the University of Berkeley in California in the US last week, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has said that India and Pakistan have squandered a lot of good chances to resolve the Kashmir issue, but there are still opportunities.

A barrel of a gun cannot drive a solution, there is a need for a dialogue process both internally as well as externally, Abdullah emphasized.

“There are clearly two dimensions (to Kashmir issue). It is not simply a matter between New Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, nor is it a matter between Islamabad and J-K. A part of the state continues to remain with Pakistan and I belong to the part of the state that is with India, that acceded to India. So when we come to the way forward, both these dimensions of the problem will have to be tackled,” he added.

Abdullah spoke on various topics, including on the current political situation in the country and the run-up to the general elections next year.

“In spite of the fact that we took losses on account of that, there were express instructions by the government of India that Indian planes and helicopters will not cross the LoC, that Indian troops will not cross the LoC. So, imagine even if with the provocation of Kargil we decided to respect the sanctity of the LoC, haven’t we somewhere or the other, decided that perhaps this is the way and let’s move forward,” he said.

Abdullah suggested that one of the ways to move forward is to sit down with Pakistan and “once and for all, address this issue”.

“We can’t do it with the international mediation. I think mediation is a word that particularly people in India have a lot of suspicion about. But facilitation is not something that we have a problem with. Perhaps friends in the right places can facilitate this process between India and Pakistan and address some of the suspicions that we have.

“I believe that we came incredibly close during the time of General Pervez Musharraf first with (former) Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and then with (ex-PM) Manmohan Singh, but time ran out for us because it took so long to finally put aside our suspicions of Musharraf as the architect of Kargil War that by the time we realised he was somebody we need to do business with, he wasn’t nearly as powerful as we needed him to be,” he added.

Abdullah later speaking on chances of development on the issue said that “I don’t believe that all opportunities have been lost, but we have squandered a lot of good chances and I hope we don’t do that going ahead”.

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