Aam Aadmi Party on Monday distanced itself from the views of its senior leader Prashant Bhushan that a referendum should be carried out in Kashmir to decide on deployment of the army to deal with security threats in the Valley.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said decisions on internal security are taken based on the law and order situation and there cannot have referendum on deployment of the army in Kashmir.
“Deployment of the army within the country should be decided on the basis of internal security threat. There is no question of a referendum on this. But we believe the sentiments of locals should be respected. Otherwise democracy will be under threat,” he told reporters when asked about Mr. Bhushan’s comments on the issue on Sunday.
He said, “AAP does not support referendum on such issues.”
Mr. Bhushan had said a referendum should be carried out in Kashmir to decide on deployment of the army to deal with internal security threats in the Valley.
He had also batted for lifting of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in J&K, saying it gave the army immunity in cases of human rights violation while causing alienation among the people.
“It is very important for us to win the hearts and minds of the people and prevent alienation. For that, the first thing which needs to be done is to remove AFSPA, which gives the army immunity in (cases of) human rights violations,” Mr. Bhushan had told a TV channel.
The army’s deployment for internal security purposes should be effected only with the consent of the people, except in cases where the rights of minorities need to be protected, he had said.
In 2011, Mr. Bhushan had triggered a controversy by supporting the idea of holding a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.