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Assembly passes Disturbed Area Bill

The Jammu and Kashmir assembly on Tuesday passed the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Area Bill, 1997 for a period of one year. It replaces the Disturbed Area Act, 1992 which was due to lapse this month.

The Bill, introduced by Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Monday, was passed by a voice vote after two amendments, moved by Communist Party of India-Marxist member Mohammad Yousuf Targami and National Conference leaders Mushtaq Ahmad Lone and Khalid Najeeb Aoharwardhy, were made.

A majority of the members who spoke on the Bill said its misuse should be checked so that innocents were not harassed.

Dr Abdullah said the Bill would provide for better provisions for the maintenance of public order in disturbed areas.

He said though the Bill was being passed for a period of one year, ''we can withdraw it as and when we feel the situation has improved."

Dr Abdullah said his government was not happy to pass such a Bill -- but, as Pakistan continued to create trouble in the sensitive state, there was no option but that.

Targami moved an amendment that a police officer, if he causes a death or grevious injury, shall forward a report in writing to the nearest magistrate within 24 hours about the incident.


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