TODAY -
NESO joins outcry against AFSPA
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 10: Joining the public outcry against the infamous Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, the North East Students' Organisation (NESO) has pledged its unstinted solidarity to the indomitable spirit and struggle of Irom Chanu Sharmila.

Talking to reporters at AMSU head office today, vice-chairman of NESO Lalmuanpula Punte questioned the discriminatory attitude of the Union Government towards the North Eastern States.

He contended that the draconian Act is not imposed in the States of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh which have reeling under the impact of concerted Naxalite movements.

He said that, "Repeal of the AFSPA 1958 has been a long standing demand of NESO and we would continue our struggle until the Act is scrapped in toto".

He disclosed that NESO had submitted a number of memoranda to central leaders urging revocation of the notorious Act.

Punte, on behalf of NESO pledged solidarity to all those who have been struggling to repeal the Act that not only empowers security force to slay on suspicion but also shields even the guilty from facing trial.

Though Sharmila had taken her campaign to the national capital only recently, the 38 year old 'iron lady' has been fasting unto death since November 3, 2000 after Assam Rifles troops gunned down 10 innocent civilians in cold blood at Malom the previous day.The student leader further informed that the issue would be discussed during the four day long 4th general conference of NESO at Agartala beginning from October 30.India's Look East Policy, the proposed laying of gas pipeline from Myanmar to Bihar through the North East and the overall education scenario in the NE region would be the main agenda of the conference .

Office bearers for the next term of the North Eastern student body would also be elected during the conference, he added.

Organising secretary of NESO Gumjum Haider and its executive member Sinam Prakash also acknowledged the burning need to unite all the people of the North Eastern States and inevitability for a united struggle to redress the woes of the region.

Meanwhile, the representatives of the Apunba Lup and human rights activists of the State who have been putting up at Delhi to solidarity to Sharmila and her cause have made all preparations in association with Manipur Students' Association Delhi (MSAD) to stage a public rally at the national capital tomorrow in pursuit of the long standing demand of the people of the North East in general and Manipur in particular for repeal of AFSPA 1958 from the region.

Meanwhile a statement issued by the representatives of the Apunba Lup from Delhi informed that Delhi Police have taken Sharmila into their custody.

The detention of Sharmila by Delhi Police was confessed only after a strong protest rally in front of AIIMS yesterday.

Even as Delhi Police personnel forcibly arrested Sharmila on the night of October 6 from Jantar Mantar and has been forced feeding the striker since then at AIIMS , Delhi Police has been refusing to divulge the whereabouts of Sharmila.

However, a mass torch rally was undertaken yesterday at around 9 pm under the aegis of the Apunba Lup and MSAD in front of AIIMS in support of Sharmila's struggle.

After a while, the rallyists stormed into the premises of AIIMS demanding whereabouts of Sharmila.

Since 7 pm, the rallyists picketed at the gate of the hospital after which they laid seized of the New private Ward of AIIMS where Sharmila was reportedly detained.

Unable to contain and give a definite answer to the questions of the enraged crowd, Delhi Police called their senior officers who disclosed the whereabouts of Sharmila.

According to an officer of Delhi Police, Sharmila is being detained under section 309 of IPC for attempt to suicide.

The FIR number concerning her arrest is 222/06, conveyed the statement.

Taking strong exception to the concealment of the whereabouts of Sharmila for such a long time, Apunba Lup construed that the conduct of Delhi Police was a diabolic attempt to subdue the ongoing movement.

While condemning the conduct of Delhi Police, it alleged that their conduct was a reflection of Union Government's inferior attitude towards the people of the North East.

Leaflets about the ongoing movement was also distributed yesterday at New Delhi to apprise the woes of the people of North East at the national capital, added the statement.

Meanwhile, another statement issued by Apunba Lup from Imphal informed that mass public rallies would be set off from different places on October 13 before converging for sit-in-protests in front of Governor's bungalow, DC offices and SDO offices.

"Stop State terrorism", "Abolish Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958" , " Save Sharmila " etc would be the main slogans of the rallies, it added.


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