Commenting on decade old Sharmila issue CM says total repeal of AFSPA impossible at moment

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IMPHAL, March 17: Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh who is also holding the portfolio of the state home department clarified that Irom Chanu Sharmila has completed nine years and 10 months of her fasting agitation demanding total repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, while replying to the queries raised by newly elected MLA Sharat of Konthoujam Assembly Constituency in the house today.
The state CM was answering to a question raised by legislator K Sarat Singh during question-answer hour about the policy adopted by the State government in resolving the decade old issue involving human rights crusader Irom Sharmila Chanu and her fast-unto-death stir for the repeal of Armed Forces Special Power Act.
Replying to the question further the Chief Minister replied that, in connection with the ongoing agitation launched by Irom Sharmila, the state government has taken up measures for maintaining peace and security to all citizens of the state.In the meantime replying to other supplementary questions he further mentioned that, the frequent release and arrest of Sharmila by the state government has become a must considering the nature of the agitation that had been launched by Irom Sharmila which is totally against the rule of the law, as she has committed crime of self immolation which the government can never allow .
“Fast-unto-death stir is a culpable crime legally therefore the government cannot remain a silent spectator to the stir which hunger striker Irom Sharmila has employed for which she has been rearrested and detained under judicial custody as is the wont for the last 10 years”, stated Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
He further mentioned that, the state government had after eceiving a sincere request from Sharmila’s elder brother lifted the AFSPA from the seven Assembly Segments of the Imphal Municipal Council, and further added he had himself led a team of ministers and met the crusader to convince her to stop taking recourse to the fasting agitation even as the Act was being repealed from Imphal area but she refused to nudged from her stance.
Chief Minister also further mentioned that, considering the present turmoil in the state with multiple issues of insurgency related problems, the total lifting of the Act from the state is not possible.
Chief Minister Ibobi further stated that the complete repealing of AFSPA is not the call of the State government. “To repeal AFSPA is not directly in the hand of the State government,” he said, while justifying his stand with an example from the neighboring Nagaland where the Act is still in place despite being one of the most peaceful State in Northeast India and also despite the State cabinet of Nagaland deciding at least twice for the repeal of AFSPA from Nagaland.
In yet another question raised by the MLA RK Anand questioning whether there is any policy of the state government to preserve and protect the Manipuri Martial Arts, the CM further clarified that, there is no policy of the state government to preserved and protect the Manipuri Martial Arts at the present, but the state government has constituted a 15 members committee to formulate a distinctive presentation and according to the reports of the said committee, a lesson on the Manipuri martial arts form will be introduced in the syllabus of the school curriculum.
Chief Minister further clarified that, the report of the committee has been submitted to the Board of Secondary Education Manipur for the final consideration, besides the government has been providing financial assistance to the selected voluntary organization which have been encouraging the Manipur Arts and Culture from time to time.
In the meantime, while replying to the queries from the senior opposition member O Joy Singh, Chief Minister further replied that, the specification  of the works for  development of Maharaja Gambhir Singh Complex at Lanthabal (Canchipur) includes acquisition of sufficient land, restoration and improvement of Samadhi, construction of  wall fencing on all four sides with decoration of wall on all 4 sides with decorative gate on the east, digging of a sacred pond with stairs for offering tarpon and an internal footpath.
He also mentioned that, the state government has already released a total amount of Rs. 30 lakhs  for the  acquisition of land and decorative fencing and gate on the east and conservation of Smadhi, Rs. 55,25,568 for bronze statue, Rs.11,96,595 for construction of pedestal another Rs.10,95,679 for construction of footpath, Rs.12,15,528 for construction of  northern wall, Rs. 30 laks for compound wall fencing of  west and South and Rs. 20, lakh for land development of the site.
He further mentioned that at present the construction of the entrance of the said complex and decorative fencing of the eastern side and land development of a portion of the total area after acquisition of land are already completed. While the construction of the statue and the pedestal are in progress, the government is working hard to install the statue in the near future.
The fencing on the northern side has already started and restoration of the Samadhi and protection work is in the completing stage, the CM added.

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