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Delhi for views on army act

New Delhi, Oct. 17: The Centre today decided to send the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee’s recommendations on the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act for comments to the ministry of defence and the states where the law is in force.

The decision to get the views of the northeastern states — Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura — and Jammu and Kashmir, besides the defence ministry, was taken at the high-powered meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the home ministry today.

“The government is studying Justice Reddy’s recommendations and after getting comments from all those concerned will be in a position to take some decision,” said Sri Prakash Jaiswal, minister of state for home.

Briefing the media, army chief Gen. J.J. Singh said there should be some legal provisions to prevent soldiers “being dragged to court” while on duty during counter-insurgency operations. “However, efforts will be made to ensure that any operation is at least led by a junior commissioned officer.”

Gen. Singh said a bill in this regard might be tabled in coming session of Parliament. Similarly, he hoped that a bill to set up the first-ever armed forces tribunal might also be tabled during the session.

He said the ongoing Naga talks, which resumed in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam today, were moving in a positive direction.

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