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Int’l Human Rights Day observed widely in State

IMPHAL, December 10: The escalating crime can only mean failure of the government machineries, social activist Dhanabir Laishram said today speaking on the fear among the general public against the rise in the number of crimes in the State in recent times.

He was speaking at the International Human Rights Day observation, organised by the Committee on Human Rights (COHR), Manipur at Manipur Press Club.

He said as long as the police and the judiciary system fail to punish criminals, crimes will only increase.

Dhanabir also said there should be no freedom without restraint.

He said there should be some restrictions on freedom too.

Freedom doesn’t mean that we can do anything even if it hinders someone else’s freedom, he observed.

The basic right of right to life should mean for everyone and not just some, he continued.

He continued under the dreaded Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the right to life of the citizens living in the North Eastern States and Jammu and Kashmir have been put under restriction as the armed forces can shoot anyone on mere suspicion under the Act.

We are given the fundamental rights but not the right to live, he claimed.

He said the people need to be put a collective effort to safeguard our own rights and freedom.

All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation president Dr Y Mani Khuman said the government has assured development but the general public is not given even the basic human right, which is right to live.

Urging on the people to be united, he said Manipur has a dozen of Civil Society Organisation but all working on their own terms.

The observation was also attended by senior faculty member LMS Law College, Imphal Dr N Pramod, Committee on Human Rights chairman Phulindro Konsam, All Manipur Working Journalists Union president Wangkhemcha Shamjai and leaders of different CSOs.

The Sharmila Kanba Lup also observed the International Human Rights Day at the Lamyanba Shanglen Palace Compound.

Speaking on the occasion, SAKL convenor Soibam Momon leima lambasted the government for neglecting the rights of the people of Manipur.

Stating that the observation was organised to show solidarity to the ongoing movement of Sharmila demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, she said everyone is aware that the Act is against human rights.

She said security forces have violated human rights in the State under the shadow of the Act.

Sharmila had started her fast following the infamous infamous Malom Massacre in 2000 during which 10 civilians were killed by security forces, she said.

It is very unfortunate that the present government continue to neglect the demand for repeal of AFSPA from Manipur and the North East region, she added.

The International Human Rights day is being observed across the globe today to mark the declaration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly on this day in 1948.

The observation was also attended by UCM vice-president Sunil Karam and other prominent civil society leaders including leaders of the All Meira Paibee Lup.

The Eastern Sporting Association, Top Awang Leikai in association with Criminal Justice Fellowship, TISS, Mumbai also observed the International Human Rights Day under the theme Mob Justice Practice in Manipur at Top Awang Leikai community hall, Imphal East today.

The observation was organized with the aim to discuss on the contemporary trends of mob justice and criminal justice system in the State. Around 40 youths participated in the observance function.

Speaking on the occasion, Damudor Arambam, a legal research fellow at TISS, Mumbai stated that human rights are lawfully guaranteed by human rights law, protecting individuals and groups against actions that interfere with fundamental freedoms and human dignity.

However, the practice of mob justice denies the accused person a right to a fair hearing before a competent court and in many cases, a right to life, he said.

He further said that mob justice should be condemned no matter the justifications thereof and it is a violation of human rights.

There is a need to allow proper justice to take its course even though justice is sometimes delayed and therefore invariably denied, he observed, adding that mob justice is against the principle of the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty.

Briefing some cases of mob justice occurred in the State, Saikhom Nikol, a lawyer stated that in most cases of mob justice, the punishment meted out do not correspond with the crime committed.

Even petty thieves are condemned to death and this is not acceptable as it deprives the victims their rights to live. Mob justice may also result to victims being tortured, their property destroyed and they are denied the right to a fair hearing as guaranteed by various International Human Rights Conventions that India is one of the signatories, he said.

Noting the role of media and its ethics, Pibathoi Naorem, an independent journalist condemned the present trend of media trial and glorification of the violence related by various media houses.

Taking a note on the ethics of journalism, he said it has become very normal in the State where media houses disclose the identity of an accused person and convicted of the same.

The observance function was moderated by Guna Takhelambam of Eastern Sporting Association while Dr Thingbaijam Sukumar and Athokpam Raghumani Singh attended as president and guest of honour respectively.

The Naga Women Union (NWU), Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights(NPMHR) and All Naga Students Association Manipur(ANSAM) also jointly observed the International Human Rights Day at the tribal Research Institute today.

The celebration on the theme ‘Our Rights, Our Freedom, Always’ was attended by represetatives of all Naga Tribe units of NWU and ANSAM and imminent Naga civil society leaders including United Naga Council president Adani Mao.

Speaking on the occasion, ANSAM Seth Shatsang said, “Our Rights are intruded on various front by the State itself and the indigenous people have to be mindful of such paradox operating against our interest. We need to collectively continue asserting our Rights and our Freedom without surrendering this inherent justice to the discriminative powers.”

“Land is crucial to the definition of our Rights and our access hence management and ownership of our land should remain with the indigenous peoples. The State should not threaten our ability and deprive us of this dependency on our land instead the State should recognized the existing social and political structures of indigenous peoples” remarked T Tabitha, president NWU.

The occasion was also adorn by tribute songs on freedom and rights by Lokho Chalai and Ngalayo Makan. Ningreichon Tungshang, former convenor NPMHR also presented a patriotic poem on the occasion.

The members present also extended their solidarity to the nine individuals who were killed in the Churachandpur, who are already declared tribal martyrs.

The Manipur Students` Association Delhi (MSAD) also observed International Human Rights Day today at Administrative Block, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi wherein an interactive session on ‘Peoples` Movement on Human Rights’ was held.

Prem Hidam, Lecturer of Political Science, Delhi University; Loyalakpa, editor of Naharaolgi Thoudang; Md Farijuddin Khan, Ph D candidate, Centre for US and Canadian Studies, SIS; Korimayum Miraj Shah, president of MSAD; Yaiphaba Khangembam , vice-president of MSAD and Muhammad Ali Dolaipabam, finance secretary of MSAD attended the observance function as resource persons.



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