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Friday, 24 August, 2001, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Kashmir opposes amnesty plan
Indian soldiers
The amnesty plan is for security forces fighting militants
The government in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir says it will oppose any federal law that grants an amnesty to members of the security forces accused of violating human rights.

Law Minister Mushtaq Ahmed Lone said the proposed general amnesty would not only put the security forces above the law, but infringe people's fundamental rights.

He described the proposal by Home Minister LK Advani as illegal and unconstitutional.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir has a special status in the Indian union.

Any law made by the federal parliament can be extended to it only with the state's consent.

Criticism

Mr Lone says he does not expect the Indian parliament to pass any law that makes a mockery of democracy.

But even if it does, he says the Jammu and Kashmir state assembly will not allow the application of any such law to the state.

Mr Advani's statement about offering a general amnesty to security personnel guilty of human rights violations has been strongly criticised by separatist groups as well as pro-India political parties in the state.

A leader of a pro-India People's Democratic Party, Mehbooba Mufti said such a move would blacken the face of Indian democracy.

See also:

24 Aug 01 | South Asia
Kashmir attack kills six policemen
20 Aug 01 | South Asia
Fears over India forces amnesty
09 Aug 01 | South Asia
India cracks down in Kashmir
07 Dec 00 | South Asia
South Asia abuses condemned
15 Aug 01 | South Asia
India hits out at Pakistan
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