Civil societies express concern on prolong imposition of AFSPA

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IMPHAL, Feb 3: The 6 days campaign initiated by different civil society organisations in solidarity with Irom Sharmila, in Bagalore during their conclusion function today unanimously demand repeal of the Armed Forces (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura) Special Powers Act, 1958 (as amended in 1972), and The Jammu and Kashmir Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1990.
Further the organizations demand that the Government must refrain from inserting any part of the Acts into any other legislation granting unbridled powers to the armed forces of the union or the State police.
The organization also call upon all those who are concerned about justice, peace and freedom to support the ongoing campaign for the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and resist the increasing militarization of democratic spaces.
The campaign began in Bangalore from 29 January and ended today culminating in a day long seminar on AFSPA and a protest.
During the conclusion programme the organisaions expressed their deep concerned and outrage by the prolonged imposition of AFSPA, which allows the military to get involved in the `internal` adminstration of the democratic order of the country, in one part or the other since 1958, and its adverse impact on the democratic rights of the peoples of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir.
The gathering further expressed their concerned for the fact that AFSPA continues to be the most significant repressive tool of the Indian state that empowers even a non commissioned officer of the armed forces of union to kill on mere suspicion and provides legal immunity from prosecution, thereby causing untold misery and agony among the peoples of the affected regions.
It also highlighted the concerned over the importance being given to AFSPA on the part of the  state in the context of the increasing militarization of the society in the sub-continent especially after 9/11 and the growing communalization of the polity in India as a whole, we also unequivocally condemn the violence that goes in the name of ideologies which are supposed to be `pro-people`.
At same time, the way the media is reporting the incidents of violence in J&K and the North-East by and large ignoring the assault on human rights by the guardians of law and order and broadly endorsing these actions, in the name of `national security` and sthose policies of the state that militate against democratic norms and humanitarian principles.
The gathering reminded the Government of India about the recommendations of the Government`s own appointed B.P. Jeevan Reddy Committee (2005), Administrative Reforms Commission headed by Veerappan Moily (2007) and Working Group on Confidence-Building Measures in Jammu and Kashmir headed by Mohammad Hamid Ansari (2007), which have consistently recommended the repeal of AFSPA.

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