IMPHAL, March 1: The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 is a colonial Act granting the Indian security forces special power to kill or detained any suspects under the guise of the Act. The prolonged imposition of this act has turned Manipur more like a concentration camp of New Delhi, opined Babloo Loitongbam, Executive Director of Human Rights Alert (HRA) Manipur.
Babloo was speaking as the resource person in the on day discussion held on “Interntional Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflict in Manipur” today at the Southern Valley Standard English School, at Keirak, Thoubal District.
The discussion was jointly organised by Umathel Women Development Association, Umathel Keirak Makha Leikai Social Welfare Club, Iramdam Semgat Sagat Lup, Comprehensive Development Centre, Umathel and North East Dialogue Forum, Manipur.
Babloo further maintained that the act has become very obvious that it is an illustration to suppress a community by another for dominance.
“AFSPA is not imposed in naxalite infested state where the situation is more grim than state like Manipur. But it rather confined in states having cultural differences with the mainland Indian like Northeast or Jammu and Kashmir”, said Babloo.
Claiming that an Act like AFSPA has no place in today’s civilised world, Babloo contended that imposing it can be construed as a mockery to human Rights and democracy.
Although Indian Government claim that the situation in Manipur to be an Internal Armed Conflict, its security forces are terrorising Manipur committing gross human rights violations ranging from arbitrary killing, forced disappearance, rapping women etc. However, the security forces are provided with the provision of impunity clearly indication that the act itself is discriminatory in nature.
Meanwhile, he further stated that with both militant and security forces violating international Humanitarian Law people often become sandwich further adding to their woes.
The convenor of Northeast Dialogue Forum, H Nobokishore, expressed that it is high time the public raised its voice on the intention of the Indian Government for imposing the black law act usually imposed in real conflict zone.
“The people need to be clear whether imposing many black laws a policy to annihilate the indigenous population of Manipur or does Manipur really is in the state of conflict”.
Citing this he exhorted that the people should demand the repeal of AFSPA if there is no conflict in Manipur or declared Manipur as a conflict zone.
Before concluding the discussion the gathering also unanimously adopted several resolutions with charters of demands aimed to mount pressure on both the centre and state governments to materialise it.
The resolutions includes the demand to constitute of special investigation team to both the Governments to investigate all entire cases of human rights violations meted out by the security forces, it demand the Government of India to ratify the optional protocols of the Geneva convention, to ratify the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court and to invite United Nations Special rapporteur on the promotion of Human Rights while countering terrorism to investigate counter terrorism operations in the state etc.