Two day discussion on AFSPA ends with further appeal for the Act’s repeal

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IMPHAL, Nov 4: The two-day panel discussion organized by Just Peace Foundation as a part of the ‘Festival of Hope, Justice and Peace’ commemorating Sharmila’s decade long struggle for the repeal of AFSPA,1958 concluded today at the Conference Hall of Hotel Classic, Imphal.

Various eminent human rights activists from across the country spoke on the topics ‘Misguided or Deliberate: Armed Rebellion and Political Conflict; Law & Order and Civil Rights Movement’ and ‘Towards Justice; AFSPA and People’s Civil & Political Rights’ during the panel discussion.

Speaking at the discussion session, human rights activist Kaka D. Iralu highlighted the plight of the Naga people who have been suffering a lot at the hands of the security forces.

He said that security forces carry out gross violation of human rights in the north-east states under the cover of the draconian law AFSPA. The people have taken up arms to challenge the atrocities meted out to them by the security personnel, Iralu asserted.

Former DGP of Tripura, Dr. KS Subramaniyam stated that the decades long crusade against the draconian law AFSPA should also target at huge deployment of Army in the north-eastern region, and added that people should show solidarity to the struggle of Iron Lady Sharmila who has been on fast for the last ten years demanding the repeal of AFSPA.

Terming AFSPA as a form of emergency rule imposed upon the people of the north-east, Dr. Dhanabir Laishram stated that the north-easterners have been suppressed for long under the clutches of security forces which have liberty to eliminate any person under the provision of AFSPA.

The editor of Ereibak Daily, Irengbam Arun stated that Sharmila has been on fast for the last ten years but the government remains as silent spectator in the whole episode of anti-AFSPA crusade.

The other rights activists who were present at the panel discussion were Babu Mathew, former director of Action Aid India, Chittaranjan Singh, general secretary of INSAF, women’s rights activist Bhani Subramaniyam, writer Joya Mitra, film-maker KP Sachi, Uma Chakravarty and Dr. Th. Suresh, retired director of health services.

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