CHANDEL, January 14: A one day consultation on United Nations’ Law of Armed Conflict and Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958 was held today at Chamdil Khubul.
The program was jointly organized by the Peoples Development Organization Chandel District, Partner Villages Development Forum Chandel District, Chakpi River Protection & Development Society and North East Dialogue Forum.
Advocat W Basanta; secretary, Women Action for Development, Sobita Mangshatabam; secretary, United NGOs Mission Manipur, U Nabakishore and advocate L Savananda acted as the resource persons.
Convener North East Dialogue Forum Chandel district Chapter Ps Ngamnung, in his keynote address called for urgent repealing of the AFSPA, 1958 enacted by the Indian Parliament on September 11, 1958.
The convener strongly urged the Indian state and political armed opposition organizations to respect and implement the United Nations’ Law of Armed Conflict/War of International Humanitarian Law.
He also urged the armed state and non-state parties engaging in the armed conflict to stop committing crimes such as genocide, crime against humanity and war crime.
Sobita Mangshatabam, secretary WAD while speaking on the topic of ‘Rape as an instrument of war’, said “Rape is use as an instrument of war in many parts of the world since long time ago. Even in India it is used by Armed forces under the shadow of Armed Forces Special Protection Act, 1958.”
She said ‘rape should not be taken lightly.’
Unfortunately, in some rural areas crime against women such as rape cases are settled according to the customary laws by imposing fines and such cases were seldom reported to the police and the culprits remain free.
She further said that the people must fight collectively irrespective of caste, creed and tribe to deliver justice to such victims and save Manipur.
Advocate W Basanta said both state and non-state actors should respect the international Humanitarian Laws and follow the common Articles of the UN Geneva Convention, 1949.
If the said articles are not followed by the state actors or even the outlawed organisations (UGs), they can be tried in the international court of law for violating human rights.
During the program attended by NGOs, leaders of the civil organisations, churches and intellectuals including women, discussion and interaction were also held.