TODAY -
Bodies call for repeal of AFSPA in NE, J&K
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 14 2009: Eighteen civil society organisations from Jammu and Kashmir and the North East affected by militarization and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and other organisations in solidarity, have called upon the Government of India to repeal the Armed Forces (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura) Special Powers Act, 1958 (as amended in 1972), and the Jammu and Kashmir Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1990 while also calling to refrain from inserting any part of the Acts into any other legislation granting unbridled powers to the armed forces of the union or the State police.

This was resolved at a meeting of the civil society organisations from NE states and Jammu and Kashmir from November 12 to 14 at New Delhi.

The meeting deliberated on the issues of AFSPA, according to a statement issued today by the organisations from Delhi.

The meeting also called upon the people of India to support the ongoing campaign for the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and resist the increasing militarization of democratic spaces.

The decision was taken while taking cognizance of the prolonged imposition of the Act in one part or the other since 1958 and its adverse impact on the democratic rights of the peoples of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir.

It also expressed concerned that AFSPA continues to be the most important repressive tool of the Indian state that empowers even a non commissioned officer of the armed forces of union to kill on mere suspicion and provide legal immunity from prosecution, thereby causing untold misery and agony among the peoples of the affected regions.

Noting that this Act has led to gross civil and political rights violations including enforced disappearances, extra-judicial execution, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, rape and other forms of sexual violence against women, arbitrary arrest and detention, the meeting also noted further that the imposition of AFSPA also has severe economic, social and cultural cost including erosion of civil administration, lack of access to education, basic health care, destruction of properties and sources of livelihood, and environmental destruction.

The participant organisations included Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), Boro Women Justice Forum (BWJF), Borok People's Human Rights Organisation (BPHRO).

Borok Women's Forum (BWF), Campaign For Peace & Democracy (Manipur) (CPDM), Centre for Law Development (CLD), Srinagar, Human Rights Alert (HRA), Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), Jammu & Kashmir Trade Union Centre (JKTUC), Karbi Nimso Chingthur Asong (KNCA), Manipur Students' Association Delhi (MSAD), Muslim Khawateen Markaz (MKM), Naga Women's Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Naga Women Union Manipur (NWUM), New Trade Union Initiatives (NTUI), Saheli Women's Group (NWG), Samindar Karbi Anime (SKA), and The Other Media (TOM).


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