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Former J&K Governor N N Vohra Endorses Amit Shah’s Troop Withdrawal and AFSPA Repeal Plans, Advocates Empowerment of Local Police

New Delhi, 27-03-2024 : Former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, N N Vohra, expressed approval on Wednesday for Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement regarding plans to withdraw troops from the Union Territory, entrusting law and order responsibilities solely to the local police force. Vohra also welcomed Shah’s intention to revoke the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir.

In his statement, Vohra extended hope that the government would adopt a similar strategy in other regions of the country where prolonged military deployment has been undertaken for internal security operations. He emphasized the importance of empowering the state police to fulfill its primary mandate of maintaining public order, thereby allowing the military to redirect its focus towards its core responsibilities.

Shah’s interview on Tuesday highlighted the government’s intentions to reduce troop presence and delegate law enforcement duties exclusively to the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Additionally, Shah reiterated the government’s willingness to consider the revocation of AFSPA from the region.

AFSPA, which grants extensive powers to armed forces personnel engaged in disturbed areas, including the authority to conduct searches, make arrests, and use force when deemed necessary for public order maintenance, has been a subject of debate and contention.

Vohra’s tenure as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir spanned from 2008 to 2018, predating the region’s transition into a Union Territory following its bifurcation. His extensive experience also includes serving as the Home Secretary of Punjab during a period of significant unrest post-Operation Bluestar, as well as holding positions as Defence Secretary and Home Secretary within the Central government.