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M’pur rights commission urge for AFSPA repeal
Correspondent IMPHAL, APR 28
Published on 28 Apr. 2010 11:54 PM IST
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Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) on Wednesday recommended the government of India to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 terming the Act as an “unreasonable, unjust, unfair and unconstitutional piece of legislation”.
“We, having been minutely examining the Act in the light of immediate preceding mother Ordinance, Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance, 1942, forwarded the recommendation to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs,” member of the MRHC, Ng Nongyai said adding that copies of the recommendation have also been provided to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and states right commissions.
Nongyai said the MHRC made the recommendation after thoroughly examining the AFSPA 1958 with reference to the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordnance, 1942 which was extended to the whole of India without discrimination.
Observing that the Act had become discriminatory and unjustified legislation by deviating from the said mother ordinance in its application, it said there was “gravest” violation of human rights in North East India particularly in the state of Manipur and so the commission made the recommendation for repeal of the Act, he said.
“Members of the Armed Forces especially by inexperienced and not-well-educated sepoys, abuse AFSPA by committing rape, molestation of women, killing of innocent persons in the name of encounter, prolonged detention of arrested persons without handing over to the police etc,” he observed.
The MHRC stated that the purpose of AFPSA was not served in the northeast and was discriminatory as the application was likely to segregate North-East from the rest of India.
The commission observed that the AFSPA was violative of Article 14 protection and insurgency in a democratic state can be ultimately solved by political means, and not exclusively by bullet.
When examining the AFSPA in the light of the Constitution of India and relevant international human rights instruments such as relevant provisions of UN Charter (1945), UDHR (1948), ICCPR (1966) etc. the commission viewed that section 3 of the Act was ambiguous inasmuch as the section does not give the definition of “disturbed area” in consequence, the definition of ‘disturbed area’ gien in section 2(b) is meaningless.
The MRHC also while expressing support to the recommendation of the Committee to Review AFPSA, 1958 of Union ministry of home affairs, 2005 to repeal the Act or replace it by an appropriate legislation and said that the recommendation was reasonable and acceptable.
It also recalled the recommendation 17th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (held on February 19 to March 9, 2007) which urged “The state party (India) to repeal the AFSPA and replace it by a more humane Act.”

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