TODAY -
Sharmila's fast completes 9 yrs
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 01 2009: Irom Sharmila's fasting demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958 has completed nine year Monday.

To mark the day, a week photo exhibition was opened at JN Dance Academy Hall, Imphal today.

The ninth anniversary of the Malom massacre which ten people were gunned down by the Assam Rifles after they were allowed to stand on a line which related with Sharmila's decision of fasting demanding the repeal of the Act was also observed today at Malom where the memorial of the 10 victims erected.

Even though, official announcement of commencement of the fasting was made on November 4, she started the fasting for this day on which the merciless killing shocked her, Singhajit, the elder brother of Sharmila told this correspondent at JN Dance Academy Hall where the photo exhibition depicting to the people under draconian law, AFSPA.

The exhibition organized by the Just Peace Foundation will continue till November 6 with various programmes The exhibition organized by the Just Peace Foundation will continue till November 6 with various programmes related with the Sharmila's struggle for repeal of the act.

The 10 victims of the Malom incident, which has been popularly known as Malom Massacre, were also remembered with floral tributes to the photographs of victims at the memorial sites today.

Hundreds of people converged since early morning at the site and took part in offering homage to the departed souls.

On November 2, 2000, ten persons, all civilians, were killed when personnel of 8 Assam Rifles indiscriminately opened fire on them as they were at a roadside bus shelter at Malom, a village near Imphal airport.

The 'provocation' for this attack was that earlier in the day, a patrol party of AR was the target of a bomb set off by some unidentified insurgents.

With several insurgent groups active in the State, any one of them could have set off the bomb.

None of the AR personnel was killed or injured in the attack; nor indeed anyone else.

And yet, in a gratuitous retaliatory act the AR personnel vented their rage on innocent civilians.

This pattern of gratuitous violence and counter-violence is well-established in Manipur, indeed in other insurgency-prone areas of the region too.

In one of the most notorious incidents of this kind, in March 1984, suspected People's Liberation Army insurgents fired upon two CRPF personnel as they were watching a volleyball match at the Heirangoithong grounds in Imphal, killing one and snatching their weapons.

In instant retaliation, CRPF personnel at the main camp atop a hillock overlooking the volleyball grounds fired into the crowd of several thousand people killing 13 persons and injuring over 30. Meanwhile, the relay hunger strike launching by the Sharmila Kanba Lup- demanding repeal of the AFSPA to save Sharmlia commenced from December 10 last year is also under progress at the gate of the Ladies Hostel of JN Institute of Medical Sciences, Porompat.

Womenfolk participating in the hunger strike today blamed the government for remaining deaf and mute despite the long fasting of Sharmila.


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