Hasten AFSPA amendments, say rights bodies

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By IFP Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Sep 8: The PVCHR, Varanasi and the Wide Angle, Manipur have acknowledged the interest shown by the Prime Minister and the Central government in the move for amendments to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), calling it an positive development. At the same time it has urged the government to hasten the inevitable amendments to the act.

Tracing the history of the AFSPA in the state the two bodies have said that there are around 44 underground groups operating across the state and according to 2009 figures the ratio of civilians to security personnel was 40:1, indicating an state of emergency in the state.

Questioning the presence of the government the bodies have in a letter to the Prime Minister and the MPs observed that the responsibility to rule has shifted from a civilian government to the man in uniform. Citing figures the bodies have given information that over 12,000 security personnel and insurgents, along with 8000 innocent people have lost their lives till now in the state.

Considering these circumstances the letter has asked the Central leaders to encourage the Central government to immediately withdraw the AFSPA, 1958; recommend implementation of the recommendations made by the Justice BP Jeevan Reddy Commission submitted to the government in 2005; constitute an independent agency to investigate and prosecute cases of human rights violations committed by the state agencies in Manipur; and find a solution to the problems affecting rule of law in Manipur through a process of interactive dialogue with the people and their leaders.

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