TODAY -
'AFSPA, not a solution to conflict in State'
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Imphal, December 13 2009: Armed Forces Special Powers Act-1958 (AFSPA) is a draconian law though short in size but can kill humanity, it will not give any solution to the problem of Manipur, according to Justice Moloy Sen Gupta, ex-acting Chief Justice, Sikkim High Court and also the jury member of Independent People's Tribunal on Torture, Extra Judicial Execution and Forced Disappearance, a seminar which concluded on Sunday at Mantripukhri, Imphal.

While revealing that the people of Manipur are unaware of the legal proceedings, the retired Judge stated that the people remain silent and mourn over the loss of the people rather than taking up actions against the guilty persons by lodging FIRs.

Revealing the observation of the testimonies from the victims' families during the programme, he stated that the victims killed in the encounters did not seem to be undergrounds or militants.

However, despite bearing all these injustices by victims' families they failed to lodge FIRs regarding the incidents, added Moloy Sen Gupta.

Ironically, some of the victims' family members apparently lodged FIRs and also seek the legal procedure however the procedures are either a lengthy procedure or no action been taken by the police, stated Moloy Sen Gupta.

Speaking in the occasion, DK Basu, former Judge, Calcutta High Court and the jury member of the seminar expressed concern over the value of life of the State where it is seemingly sold in a mere Rs1 lakh and apparently fixed by AFSPA, 1958 .

Recalling the incident of 1984 where two people were killed by police commandos by 9 Assam Regiment, he stated that the Supreme Court had set up a case in the public interest and the victim's kins had been paid Rs1 lakh by the then Chief Minister or the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA).

Such exchange of mere money with lives of the people of the State is very unfortunate, lamented the former Judge, Calcutta High Court.

Stating that such act is operating only in the State of Manipur, he revealed that it is does not exist elsewhere where women are even not spared.

While stating the July 23 incident of Imphal killing Ch Sanjit and Rabina, DK Basu revealed that the Government had sent emissary to negotiate the case with Rs 10 lakhs and Rs 1 crore to the Joint Action Committee (JAC) formed against the July 23 incident.

Such instances are not new in the State of Manipur, stated DK Basu.

Informing that unlike Manipur, DK Basu stated that when people are arrested in a place like Guwahati they had to be taken to a police station regardless either they are militants or civilians and then proceed according to the law.

He further revealed that as per the observation record on the three-day hearing and keeping in view of the situation of Manipur the panellists of the seminar pledged to make aware of the situation in the Parliament so that the AFSPA-1958 would be repealed.

The three-day seminar christened as Hearing on the Independent People's Tribunal on Torture, Extra Judicial Execution and Forced Disappearance that started on December 11 was organized jointly by Human Rights Law Network and Extra Judicial Execution Victims Family Association in Manipur with Kanglei Young Women Socio Cultural Organization, Human Rights Initiative, Human Rights Alert and Eastern Rural Development Centre.

The hearing was conducted before the former Judge of Kerala High Court KK Usha, DK Basu, former Judge of Calcutta High Court and Moloy Sengupta, former acting Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court.


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