Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign meets NHRC Chairman

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Press Release

Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign volunteers meet the NHRC Chairperson on 31st July 2012

Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC) is a nationwide protest against the neglect and suppression of Irom Sharmila. SSSC supports Irom Sharmila on democratic and humanitarian grounds and demands the Government to initiate talks with her. For about an year, SSSC has been working to spread awareness and gather support for her struggle from the general public of the country and abroad, through candle-light vigils, awareness programmes in colleges, nation-wide signature campaigns and caravans covering almost all states of India.

11 DAYS, 11000 PETITIONS for 11 YEARS 10JULY-20JULY - Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign For Irom Sharmila Chanu
11 DAYS, 11000 PETITIONS for 11 YEARS 10JULY-20JULY – Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign For Irom Sharmila Chanu

As a step further, SSSC had decided to appeal to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to send a delegation to meet her, take up her cause and issue an order to the Government. Between 10th-20th July, about a thousand letters were sent through post and email to NHRC and to conclude it, today a delegation of five volunteers met the Chairperson and submitted the memorandum personally to him.

The NHRC Chairman, Sh. K.G. Balakrishnan, had acknowledged that NHRC has received many letters regarding this issue. However, he said that “NHRC can’t do much as Irom Sharmila is demanding a repeal and this is a Government policy.”

But then the delegation talked about the need for a negotiation and the unacceptable approach of the Government.

Pawan Shrivastava argued that “in the World’s largest democracy, a voice, as determined as that of Irom Sharmila, should not be ignored.”

Rahul Ranjan added that “the fact that Irom Sharmila has been on a hunger strike for 11 years shows her faith in democracy”.

Amitesh Prasoon argued that “When the voice of a person sitting on a hunger strike for 11 days can be heard, then why not of a person sitting on a hunger strike for 11 years. Why is there so much discrimination?”

Puneet Pushkar, a student of Dyal Singh College, pointed out that “even if we cannot repeal AFSPA, we can reform it. The law has been misused due to the clause that the army officers guilty of crime cannot be penalized”.

Devika Mittal, a student of South Asian University, said that “The Government has not only suppressed her voice but also has charged her with a false crime of committing suicide. Suicide is a very individualistic, “selfish” crime. But she is not even a direct victim of AFSPA, she is raising her voice for her people. The charge of “suicide” is a disgrace to her sacrifice.”

The delegation had requested NHRC to send a delegation to Manipur to meet Irom Sharmila and to issue an order to the Government. NHRC responded by promising that they will do whatever they can. When asked about the earlier team of SSSC volunteers that had met NHRC with the similar demands, NHRC did not respond.

Sent by Volunteers of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign Contact Info: savesharmila{at}gmail{dot}com

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