TODAY -
MPP denounces AFSPA 1958
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 25: Demanding repeal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 from all over the country including Manipur, the Manipur People's Party (MPP) today staged a sit-in-protest at its office complex besides submitting a memorandum to the President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

If the MPP is elected to power, Disturbed Area status would be revoked from the whole State, said MPP president Dr L Chandramani.

The sit-in-protest participated by many leaders of the party including Dr L Chandramani and its working president Dr Nimaichand Luwang started at 11 am and continued till 4 pm.

While speaking to reporters at the protest venue, MPP leaders recounted numerous casualties suffered by the people of Manipur because of the AFSPA.

They also appealed to save the life of hunger striker Irom Sharmila Chanu.

While the MPP workers were staging dharna, a six member team of MPP leaders led by its president Dr L Chandramani went to Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum to the President of India through Governor Dr SS Sidhu pleading for abolition of the infamous Act.

Copies of the memorandum were also submitted to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and the Governor of Manipur.

However, no such memorandum was submitted to the State Chief Minister.

Later speaking to reporters, Dr L Chandramani castigated the Congress led SPF Government for its failure to repeal the notorious Act from the remaining 53.Assembly constituencies despite prolonged and sustained campaign undertaken by the people towards this end although the State Government had revoked Disturbed Area status from Imphal Municipal Areas covering seven Assembly segments thereby rendering AFSPA inapplicable in these areas.

Even though the Congress Government is unable to revoke the Disturbed Area status from the State, MPP would certainly revoke the hated status and make the infamous AFSPA invalid all over the State if the people repose their faith upon MPP and elect the regional party to power, asserted the MPP president.

As only the Parliament can abolish the draconian Act, the memorandum was submitted to the President and other leaders of the country so that the Act is abolished from the statute book of the country during the ongoing winter session of Parliament, elucidated Dr Chandramani.

He further flayed the inaction of the Union Govt even as the Justice Jeevan Reddy Review Committee had submitted its recommendations on AFSPA a year back.

Whereas there was only one underground organisation in the hill districts when the whole State was declared Disturbed Area during the tenure of RK Dorendra as Chief Minister of Manipur in 1980, the number of UG outfits has reached six today.

Likewise, the number of UG groups in the valley has also swelled up, observed Chandramani pointing out the futility of imposing the infamous Act.

He further noted that in the last 26 years, imposition of the Act resulted only in violation of human rights and killings and nothing positive.

Dr Nimaichand Luwang alleged that prohibition order issued under Section 144 of CrPC in the name of security measures ahead of Prime Minister's visit to the State just after MPP announced its plan to undertake a public rally against AFSPA 1958 was not in the interest of the people of Manipur.

The repeal of AFSPA from Imphal Municipal Area was not done in the interest of people but compelled by the fear of SPF Ministry break-up, alleged Dr Nimaichand.

Asserting that the Congress party would never be able to revoke Disturbed Area status, he claimed that only a regional party can revoke the status and for this MPP would go on to challenge the Union Govt.

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