AFSPA repeal demand voiced in Manipur
The “61 years of Suspension of Right to Life in Manipur” through the imposition of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 was observed today at LamyanbaShaglen, Palace Compound, organised by Apunba Manipur KanbaImaLup (AMKIL).
Senior advocate and former member of Manipur Human Rights Commission, Kh. Chonjohn, speaking at the occasion reminded that people of the state has been demanding to repeal the draconian act-Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 (AFSPA), from past many years but it remain fruitless till date.
Instead of fulfilling the demand, the central government only withdrew ‘disturbed area’ status in some parts of the state. “There is no point of removing the tagline of ‘disturbed areas’ if the central government does not consider repealing the ‘inhuman act’,” he added.
He further pointed out that people should not be deterred with the negligence of Government of India. Instead of struggling to repeal the ‘communal’ act, it will be much better to continue the agitation on scraping it.
“The act was enforced with an objective to maintain law and order in the North Eastern states. But on contrary to it, security personnel exercises sweeping power under the shadow of this act in which basic rights of human being have been curtailed in many ways”, he complained. He further stated that Article 21 and 14 of the Indian Constitution will dominate in areas where the Act is enforced unless it is completely removed. The only mechanism to fight against this Act is to extend collective effort from every walk of life and share constructive thoughts and views, he added.
Giving her keynote address, advisor AMKIL, KhangembamAnandi said that the programme is being held as a wake-up call to people of the state. “Although people of the state are fearlessly struggling against the Act, central government did not pay any attention. Therefore extra effort and courage is needed to fight this dangerous fight. For this, support and unity among various ethnic is the utmost need” she added.
She recalled that the act was enforced in India by British ruler as an Ordinance in 1942 to suppress the independence movement of the then period. Sadly such dominating nature of British ruler was transferred to central leaders, resulting to which first president of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad enforced it as an Act on May 22, 1958. Initially it was enforced in hilly areas and later extended in valley regions.
As a part of the programme, a report called “A Report to Assist the United Nations Human Rights Committee” was also released.
The report was jointly compiled by All Manipur NupiManbi Association; Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur; Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights in Manipur and the UN; Committee on Human Rights; Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families Association, Manipur; Families of the Involuntary Disappeared Association Manipur; Human Rights Alert; Human Rights Defender, Manipur; Indigenous Perspective; Reach Out and United People’s Front.
Executive director of Human Rights Alert, BablooLoitongbam said that the report is being prepared through a series of consultation to assist UN Human Rights Committee. It is made to draw the list of relevant issues for initiating fourth review process with the government of India and UN Human Rights Committee under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.