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Armed Forces Special Powers Act will be enforced till peace returns to the Valley - BJP

The ruling alliance partners in Jammu and Kashmir — PDP and BJP — are not on the same page on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) revocation in the State with the saffron party stressing that the controversial law should not be revoked unless peace and normalcy is restored in the militancy-infested State.

“BJP’s stand is very clear that AFSPA cannot be revoked unless and until peace and normalcy is restored in Jammu and Kashmir,” said BJP vice president and incharge J&K, Avinash Khanna, on sidelines of a party convention here.

He said the Centre is closely monitoring the situation in Kashmir and will decide on AFSPA revocation at the appropriate time. Khanna’s comments come a day after Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti pitched for withdrawal of AFSPA from some areas.

Meanwhile, three separatist leaders were detained after they tried to take out a protest march. Hardliner Syed Ali Geelani, moderate Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and pro-independence JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik were scheduled to meet at Geelani’s residence and later address a joint press conference.

As media representatives attempted to cover arrest of the separatist leaders, the policemen tried to prevent it. In the melee, a police officer assaulted two photo journalists. The two photo journalists injured were Tauseef Mustafa of AFP and Mubashir Khan of Great Kashmir, an English daily. Other photo and video journalists including Farooq Javed Khan (EPA), Shauib Masoodi (Indian Express) and Umar Sheikh (Times Now) were also beaten and abused by the officer.

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