Impact of 61 yrs of AFSPA deliberated in Imphal

Correspondent IMPHAL, May 22 | Publish Date: 5/22/2019 11:38:53 AM IST
The impact of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 was discussed in a public discourse hosted by Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup(AMKIL) in Imphal on Wednesday to mark 61 years of imposition of draconian act in the state.
Resource persons who took part in the public discourse questioned whether the objective of the Act was achieved even after it was imposed for such a long 61 years.
They alleged AFSPA 1958 is one of the most draconian legislations that the Indian Parliament has passed during its sixty-four years of existence as an independent country. 
In the discussion, it was observed that the objective of AFSPA is to provide law and order in the places where the normal order has been disturbed but quite on the contrary,  the Act provides  security personnel with absolute powers without accountability. This leads to various atrocities and human rights violation by the security agencies, they added.
AMKIL advisor Khangenbam Anandi, alleged that imposition of the draconian law means 61 years of suspension of right to life in Manipur.
Despite knowing that contrary to the objective of the enforcement of the Act, activities of the insurgency has increased in the state, Anandi said, adding that the state government had so far not taken up any positive step to repeal the Act.
Manipur had witnessed a series of people’s uprising demanding removal of the Act. The central government however is was yet to hear the hue and cry of the people of the state, she added.
She said, in Assam where the Act is in force, the state government has at least taken up some steps forward to remove disturbed area status that paved the path for extension of the Act.
She also questioned of what steps have been taken up by the incumbent government regarding review of the disturbed area status in the the state.
Not a single step has been taken to repeal the draconian law by the present government, she alleged.
The AMKIL advisor said that people of the state have been suffering for the last 60 years due to the atrocities meted out to them by the security forces under the shadow of AFSPA.
She alleged, not only many people were tortured  by the security forces under the shadow of the draconian law, but many women have been raped and murdered in the name of countering insurgency. 
The security forces had even raped women in front of their husbands and family members, she added. 
Taking part in the discourse, chairman of Committee on Human Rights (COHR) Phulindro Konsam alleged that AFSPA has been using the act as an instrument to suppress and oppress the people of Manipur by government of India and its security forces.
Asserting that right to life was the most important right, Phulindro said that other rights have little meaning if right to life was not respected or protected.
There would be no meaning of development if right to life of the people was curtailed, he added, alleging that AFSPA is an Act that curtails the right to life for the people of the state.
Director of Peace Building Action, Ningthemcha Bobichand alleged that AFPSA has been a problem in creating an environment to maintain peace in the region.
Peace and tranquillity was needed for upliftment of every society and its survival and to get the people the taste of freedom, he asserted. He suggested that while pressing the state government, people of the state should demand repeal of the draconian law by the Centre. 
All the participants of the public discourse wore black batch to mark a protest against the imposition of draconian law in the state.
On the occasion, a report compiled by Civil Society Coalition for Human Right on human right condition in the state recently submitted to United Nation Human Rights Committee was released. 
After releasing the report, director of Human Rights Alert, Babloo Loitoingbam said that the report presented a gist of the major human rights challenges faced by the people of Manipur and Northeast states of India.
He added that the report primarily focuses on the suspension of right to life, the lack of effective remedy, the non-recognition of ethnic minorities, the plundering of natural resources of the land and political right to self-determination.

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