TODAY -
Fact finding mission from Delhi expresses serious concern
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 07 2009: A four-member Independent Citizens Fact Finding Mission who have been conducting an inquiry into the human rights situation in the state in the aftermath of the July 23 incident has called for investigation into each killing in the state, review of NSA cases and appropriate rehabilitation of the family members of the deceased through a just rehabilitation policy.

The team comprised retired IPS, Dr KS Subramanian, former Police officer of Manipur-Tripura Cadre and currently Visiting Professor at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, Editor of New-Delhi based magazine Mainstream, Sumit Chakravarty, National Secretary of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Kavita Srivastava and Vasundhara Jairath of Delhi Solidarity Group.

Expressing deep concern over the deteriorating situation and prevailing climate of impunity in Manipur, the team stated while releasing their interim report at the Manipur Press Club premises here today, "The consequences of continuing violence would be disastrous and adversely affect peace-building and reconciliation in society".

Stating that through their discussions since their arrival on Thursday last, they have come across repeated allegations against the security forces, the team recounted their meetings with Chief Minister Okram Ibobi and DGP Y Joykumar this morning.

They stated that the DGP had confirmed that over 260 people have been killed in the state since January 2009 and asserted that all of them were underground activists.

"The CM said he was prepared for second round of talks with those agitating over the July 23 killings after the first round on October 31, but several of their demands could never be met," their report stated.

The team had also met with a cross section of people including members of civil society, citizens' groups, academics, mediapersons and families of state violence besides the CM, DGP and IG Human Rights and Prisons during the last three days, they expressed.

Conveying solidarity with the victims of violence, the team called for adequate compensation for the women and children who have lost their husbands, fathers, sons and sole bread-winners in their families.

"Many have alleged these killings as fake encounters-as killings of innocents who perished either in custody or otherwise, but without legal sanction.

Each of these allegations should be transparently investigated and the guilty punished," the team's report stated.

Stating that the high degree and frequency of violation of human rights in the state is also cause for alarm, the fact finding team mooted that restoration of peace and order must go hand in hand with the promotion of the rule of law and justice for the sustenance of democracy.

The team which met with Irom Chanu Sharmila, now into her tenth year of fast against the Armed Forces Special Powers' Act, 1958, yesterday also expressed concern about her health, accommodation and access in the hospital.

"Her strength and courage in undertaking the longest satyagraha in the world, completely peaceful and non-violent, leaves us in awe of her struggle.

Her demand for the repeal of the AFSPA should be actively considered in the light of several official recommendations," the team stated in their interim report.

The team also expressed concerned over the detention of human rights defender and dam activist Jiten Yumnam under NSA.

The final report containing the findings of the team is expected to be released on November 18 in New Delhi.


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