JPF decides to return a sum of Rs 17.13 lakh to Sharmila

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IMPHAL, November 27: The Just Peace Foundation today announced that the foundation will hand over Rs 17.13 lakhs to Irom Chanu Sharmila.

Addressing the 16th anniversary observation of the ‘Supreme Court’s betrayal of the people of Manipur, North East and Kashmir’ at the Manipur Press Club, JPF trustee Babloo Loitongbam said the trust will hand over Rs 1713151 to Irom Chanu Sharmila.

He elaborated that the amount to be handed over include a total current bank balance to be transferred to Sharmila’s account Rs 673151; loan of Rs 1,40000 to EEVFAM to be recovered tentatively by 2014; loan of Rs 3 lakh to Irom Singhjit from Gwangju Award; asset (homestead land) – peace village for Irom Sharmila Rs 600000.

Meanwhile, All Manipur Bar Association, president Khaidem Mani said, “The legal fraternity of the state will stand together with the civil societies and fight demanding the repeal of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers’ Act from the country.”

The legal fraternity and the various civil societies of the state will take the issue to the Supreme Court of India, he said.

The observation was organized by the Just Peace Foundation at Manipur Press Club to mark the controversial judgement where the Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutionality of the AFSPA, 1958 on November 27, 1997.

Mani further said that the Supreme Court’s judgement had drawn flakes from various quarters as the most conservative judgement in the annals of the apex court.

The Jeevan Reddy Committee had submitted its report on AFSPA to the government of India in June 2005 observing that whatever reason the act is implemented in the state it has become a symbol of oppression and object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high handedness which is highly desirable and advisable to repeal this act, he said.

Continuing further, he said that Chief Justice (L) JS Verma, the main architect of the 1997 judgement, seems to sing a very different tune as the chairperson of the Committee on Amendments to Criminal Law in Connection to sexual assault, 2013 when it observed that “…we notice that impunity for systematic or isolated sexual violence in the process of internal security duties is being legitimized by the AFSPA.”

This clearly depicts that the central government is neglecting the demands for repeal of AFSPA and keep on continuing reviewing the act even as the people residing is such areas where AFSPA is imposed are being treated like a sub-human beings living in a case, he lamented.

Chief administrator, Life Watch, Araba said that behind this draconian act the security forces are meting out several inhuman activities to the people.

Just Peace Foundation trustee Babloo Loitongbam said that the judgment of the Supreme Court for upholding the act till now is not appropriate.

Meanwhile, an independent journalist from Tamil Nadu, Maga Tamil Prabhagaran said he was denied permission to meet Irom Chanu Sharmila yesterday by an Imphal East Court asking him to ask the Home department for the meeting.

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