Jammu: A "rational and objective" discussion needed on the Draft Jammu and Kashmir Police Bill 2013, state unit of BJP said on Thursday.

"Instead of outrightly rejecting the 'Draft Jammu and Kashmir Police Bill 2013', there is need for a rational and objective discussion on various proposals incorporated in it," BJP Chief Spokesperson and National Executive Member, Jitendra Singh, said here.

Singh said that the BJP has always favoured total accountability of police personnel without impinging on the democratic liberties of a common citizen.

He, however, mentioned that it should not lead to any bias or prejudice against bringing in reforms particularly in the light of the fact that the existing Police Act in Jammu and Kashmir was framed way back in 1927.

"Over the last one century, not only the nature of crime has changed but the society's expectations from police have also evolved to a different level. It was considering this fact that the Supreme Court of India had, six years ago, put forward the suggestion of police reforms," he said.

Singh said that proposal for empowerment of Village Defence Committees (VDCs), envisaged in the Draft Police Bill, has been a long standing demand of BJP. "Since a long time, we have been demanding empowerment of Village Defence Committees and it is in recognition of a commendable role played by the VDCs during the peak of militancy in the state," he said.

"Proposal for creation of Special Security Zones can be discussed threadbare, but it should not be seen as usurping the prerogative of the Centre or the Parliament of India to enact Disturbed Areas Act (DAA) or deploy Army with AFSPA," he added.

J&K has gone through a protracted phase of terrorism and this reality cannot be ignored. Calling for a dispassionate debate on reforms, the BJP leader appealed to Kashmir-centric political groups not to exploit the issue to raise separatist passions and assured that wherever there is an unwarranted intrusion into a common citizen's freedom, the BJP will oppose it without any compromise.


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