TODAY -
Civil leaders' arrest protested at Delhi
Source: The Sangai Express

New Delhi, September 24 2009: Showing their solidarity and support to the people of Manipur in their demand for justice, civil society groups, social activists and other eminent individuals staged a protest demonstration in front of Manipur Bhavan here today.

In the wake of the arrest of environmentalist Jiten Yumnam, who was allegedly tortured by the state police, the demonstrators demanded immediate and unconditional release of all social activists arrested along with him.



Civil society members and human right activists staging a protest at Manipur Bhavan, New Delhi


They also demanded befitting punishment of all police personnel who were responsible for the BT Road killings as well as scrapping of AFSPA.

A memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Okram Ibobi was also submitted to Resident Commissioner Shambhu Singh.

The same memorandum would be sent to the Prime Minister with endorsement from civil organisations and other eminent individuals in the day.

The organisations that took part in the demonstration today included National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW), All India Students Association (AISA), SAHELI, All India Progressive Women's Association, Peoples' Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), Naga People's Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Campaign for Peace and Democracy (Manipur), People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG).

The memorandum signed by more than 30 organisations and several other eminent individuals from all over India was also sent to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Referring to the July 23 Khwairamband killings, the memorandum observed that instead of responding to the democratic and legitimate demands of its people for justice and action against guilty police personnel, the State Government led by Okram Ibobi has replied with brute force and imposed curfew in the state, and tried to cover up the story in the State Legislative Assembly.

To the democratic protests of the people for resignation of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi and punishment of the guilty police personnel, the Government of Manipur responded with repressive measures like imposition of curfew, violent attacks on the protesters and the arrest of the civil society organisation leaders.

It cited the arrest of several members of the Apunba Lup, the All Manipur United Clubs' Organisation (AMUCO) and environmental activist Jiten Yumnam who has been allegedly subjected to third degree torture in police custody.

"The severity of the current crisis in Manipur can be judged by the fact that it is almost impossible to find legal assistance for those arrested in the state today.

The situation is absolutely unacceptable.

There is an urgent need to intervene against the undemocratic and autocratic nature of the Government in Manipur", it pointed out.


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