Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government tonight said that the Disturbed Areas Act, 1997 has ceased to exist since 1998 but the AFSPA continues to remain in force in the state.

“It needs to be appreciated that, while the J&K Disturbed Areas Act, 1997, has ceased to exist with effect from October 7, 1998 in the state, the AFSPA, 1990 continues to remain in force in the state and presently notified disturbed areas in the state have been declared so under this Act,” an official spokesman said late tonight.

The J&K Disturbed Areas Act, a state Act, enforced in the state in 1990 gave powers to magistrates and police officers to deal with militancy effectively in areas notified as “Disturbed Areas”. It was replaced by DAA, 1992, which in turn was substituted by DAA, 1997, he said.

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), passed by the Parliament during the President’s Rule in the state, came into force on July 5, 1990.

This act confers special powers to the Armed Forces operating in disturbed areas of the state, the spokesman said.

It was first applied to the Kashmir Valley and border areas of Rajouri and Poonch in 1990 and later the Governor declared all the state except Leh and Kargil districts to be under this act.

Earlier in the day, rejecting a resolution regarding revocation of DAA brought by National Conference member Bashir Ahmed Veeri in the Legislative Council, its chairman Amrit Malhotra said that the government has informed that Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act 1997 was valid for only one year and has lapsed on October 7, 1998.

“At present the DAA is not in force in the state,” Additional Secretary to J&K Legislative Council said in reply to the resolution brought by the member to hold discussion over it in the House. 

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