DELHI, October 14: To mark the 15th year of heroic struggle of Irom Sharmila, North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) will be on the move for a one day hunger strike across the country on November 2, said a press release by NEFIS.
The press release has stated that Irom Sharmila has been on hunger strike against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) since November 2, 2000 and NEFIS has pledged to wage a nation-wide struggle against the draconian Act and to bring the validity of the long abused AFSPA into question.
It said, the draconian Act in Jammu & Kashmir and the North-East states has been serving as a useful weapon for the Indian State in order to curb the democratic rights and freedom of the people of the regions.
AFSPA grants special powers to the armed forces, the most controversial being the legal immunity it provides to army officers. AFSPA is an anti-people, oppressive Act as it assigns the armed forces special powers for detaining, using lethal force and entering and searching premises without warrant, stated NEFIS in the press release.
NEFIS further stated in the press release that AFSPA has been condemned nationally and internationally by all democratic and justice loving people, and in order to highlight the ongoing struggle for democratic rights, NEFIS has called upon all the communities of the north east, as well as several democratic and civil liberties organizations and individual civil rights activists across the country to observe the hunger strike on November 2.
NEFIS demands removal of AFSPA from all states and appeal to support the campaign to fight against militarization and suppression of democratic rights, which is not just the concern of the people of North-East India but the struggle against AFSPA is the struggle to uphold the ideals of democracy and freedom for all, said NEFIS in the press release.