IMPHAL, Nov 12: The NERIST Manipur Students’ Union organized a signature campaign to save Irom Sharmila, besides sit in protest against the Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958.
A statement issued by the students’ union said that more than 700 people from various walks of life took part in the said campaign and the sit in protest.
Student unions of other states, namely, NERIST Tripura Students’ Association (NTSA), Sikkim Students Association of NERIST (SSAN), NERIST Mizo Zirlai Pawl(NMZP), NERIST All- India Student Association (NAISA), the NERIST Arunachal Pradesh Students Association(NAPSA) and The Students Union of NERIST(SUN), have publicly supported the campaign apart from lots of individuals.
Many faculty members, students and other individuals from outside the campus also came in support of Irom Sharmila, and took part in the sit in protest besides giving voluntary speeches.
It said during the demonstration many highlighted the unfortunate incident of Thangjam Manorama and how the AFSPA was used to protect the guilty army personnel. Some elaborated on the indifferences of the Government to the suffering of the people.
Meantime, fruitful discussions and voluntary speeches from students and faculties were part of the campaign.
The gathering further observed that the Armed Forces Special Power Act denies individual security. In absence of the very basic rights of right to live and personal security, the meaning of fundamental rights loss their meaning.
It is also of the view that the Central Government has been like a step mother to NE states. They also question the response of the Central government about the Nagaland incident for which many enquiries had been made.
The gathering strongly condemns the indifference of the Central Government regarding the repealing or redrafting the AFSPA, despite the recommendations made by Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee. The committee was set up to advice the Government on the said act, but the Government fails to accept its recommendations. This is a mockery to the rights of the citizen.
In addition to the Jeevan Reddy Committee, the Second Administrative Reforms Commission in its 5th Report of 2007 has also recommended the repeal of the AFSP Act.
The gathering also strongly condemns the unequal treatment of the Central Government towards the North Eastern States, Manipur in particular.
It recalled that the recent hungers strike of few days by some people, which the Government took very seriously whereas the same Government fails to notice Irom Sharmila who has been fasting for the last 11 years.
Those who were present on the occasion took a pledge that the message of Irom Sharmila will be spreading wherever they go and will fight for the repealing of AFSPA. The gathering also decided that we should strive to give a normal life to Irom Sharmila, it asserted.