`Manipur a highly militarised zones`

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IMPHAL, December 11: Manipur is one of the highly militarized zones in the world. There are about 350 military installations, 50 to 60 thousands security personnel and roughly one soldier for every 15 citizens, a proportion possibly higher than many recognized war zones, said Boipu, the co-ordinator of United NGOs Mission, Manipur.

He was speaking at the International Human Right Day observation held at Khoupum area on December 10. He further stated that indigenous people of Manipur consisted of about 36 communities that are ethnically and culturally distinct from mainland India. The Government of India promulgated the colonial and racial legislation, the Armed Forces Special Power Ordinance on April 16, 1950, and afterward enacted the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958.   

This armed forces of India comprised of different ethnic groups with culture, religion and languages distinct from the local indigenous population and they considered that the entire population of Manipur are hostile to them.

He said that in Manipur two types of armed conflict is going on namely IAC between government armed force and non-governmental armed force (national liberation movement) and NIACs between non-governmental groups themselves.

Due to the armed conflict in Manipur in between 1992 and January 6, 2013, it is estimate that 5842 persons were killed, of which 2193 are civilians who were not part of the hostility, 966 security force personnel and 2683 guerrillas.

A civil society group representative lamented that bad road connectivity is also a form of violation of the people rights. “Road is the father of all development. Hampering the development of road connectivity will render the area lagging behind others in the fields of education, medical service, and almost all other ways. The Khoupum people are facing myriad problems in to and fro transportation. Though the government had taken up beneficiary scheme for the people, the region has not received the actual benefits because of the bad road conditions.      

He delved on the violence perpetrated against women in the hills area. In 1974, a woman was raped in Ukhrul by a BSF officer and the victim killed herself unable to bear the stigma. The Lamdal rape case committed by the CRPF personnel is still pending, he said.

The people are soft target and often victimized by the security personnel, he said claimed that the main contributing factor for high frequency of such incident is the absence of bonds among the people. He forewarned that the trends might continue if we do not come together and added that the situation called for a collective movement.

He lamented that Tousem area of Tamenglong district is prone to child trafficking. Unfortunately the church recommends the child to outside state for education etc. So, we much be aware of child rights linked to their survival, development and participation and protection of their rights. Understanding of human rights will lead to a good society, he said and voiced the need for a combined effort for bringing about the repeal of AFSPA from our state.

In the observation declarations were made demanding repeal of AFSPA, stopping military occupation, return of security force, expedition of all rape cases pending in Manipur High Court, checking extra judicial killing, forced disappearance of innocent civilians, their unlawful detention and torture among other.

In the observation of International Human Right Day, community leaders workshop cum mass rally on Human Right Violation were held. Majabung Gangmei, spokesperson ATSUM (T) and social activist Boipu Koireng were present as resource persons and Achui Pamei as president of the function.

The function was held at the Daithaoluang Community Hall, Khoupum valley and was jointly organised by the Zeliangrong Student’s Union, Khoupum Area and United NGOs Mission Manipur under the aegis of All Zeliangrong Student Union Manipur.

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