TODAY -
Rally, memo to PM decry AFSPA
Source: The Sangai Express

New Delhi, December 09: Intensifying ongoing campaign against AFSPA, a mass demonstration rally was taken out this afternoon around the city of Delhi.

The rallyists shouted slogans all along demanding abolition of the 'colonial Act'.

After crossing Jantar Mantar, Delhi Police personnel prevented the 200 strong students from proceeding further which was defied by the rallyists breaching the police barricade and going ahead only to result in the Delhi police authorities summoning additional security forces to block the rally about 50 metres from the last barricade.

Later a team of student representatives submitted memoranda to the Prime Minister and Home Minister.


Rallyists demanding repeal of AFSPA and other black laws at New Delhi face off with police personnel

Speaking after the rally, director of Other Media Ravi observed that there was still necessity to carry on the campaign and the campaign must be carried forward with firm determination.

Dr AK Bimol remarked that the recent statement of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was manifestation of the Government's utter indifference to the voice of people.

A girl student from Assam called upon the people of North eastern States to wake up from their slumber and to wage a collective movement for their rights.

Representatives of several organisations and human right groups also pledged solidarity to the people's movement of Manipur and assured their cooperation to the people of the North East and Jammu & Kashmir.

A number of civil organisations and human rights groups opposed to continued imposition of AFSPA demanded immediate repeal of the draconian Act and other 'black laws' from the North East and Kashmir.

A joint memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh by the collective body against AFSPA comprising of several civil organisations and human rights groups based within and beyond Manipur including Working Committee of the Apunba Lup, Yuva Bharat, Justice For Workers etc, also asked not to retain any provision of AFSPA in other laws as recommended by the Justice Jeevan Reddy Review Committee.

The representation also urged for release of hunger striker Irom Sharmila Chanu from police custody.

The memorandum reminded the Prime Minister that the mass demonstration undertaken at Delhi today with full support and solidarity from all across India and the world was a strong message of protest of the people living with perpetual threats to life.

It asserted that the demand for repeal of AFSPA 1958 is much more serious issue than what the Government of India perceived to be.

Drawing the attention of the Prime Minister to the unparalleled campaign of Irom Sharmila who has been on fast unto death stir for six years against the dreaded and inhuman Act, the memorandum recalled the rare and extreme acts of protest such as the self-immolation of Pebam Chittaranjan and nude protest by Manipuri mothers as impelled by the atrocities committed by security forces under the immunity provided by the AFSPA.

Asserting that the AFSPA is a colonial law, it remarked that Act is a farce on Indian democracy and federalism.

Reacting to the statement made by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh at Imphal on December 2, it noted that the Prime Minister's visit was a great disappointment to the people victimised by the infamous Act.

Quoting the statement of the Prime Minister that "people of Manipur are entitled to the same privileges and protection of law as the citizens in rest of the country", the Collective Against AFSPA wondered as to how the 'same privileges' would ensured to the subjugated people of the country when the Act instrumental in numerous cases of forced disappearances, rape and murders was still in force.

Even as it construed that the irresponsible attitude of the Union Government towards hunger striker Irom Sharmila who is currently at the national capital is a clear indicator that the battle against the inhuman Act would be much longer and harder, it nevertheless reiterated its appeal for immediate repeal of the AFSPA.


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