Khaidem Mani slams Army chief for calling AFSPA an effective tool

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IMPHAL, Jan 18:  The imposition of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the northeastern region is a clear indication of the separatist movement being recognized by the Indian government.
This was stated by senior advocate Khaidem Mani during the release function of the report of Independent People’s Tribunal on extrajudicial killing, torture and enforced disappearances held today at Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul Imphal.
Mani further stated that the problem of insurgency in the northeastern region has been intensified ever since the imposition of AFSPA. It has indeed failed to curb the insurgent movement in the region rather than paving way for new movement, he noted.
Slamming the Army Chief’s statement on AFSPA as an effective tool for countering insurgency and without which they cannot operate in Kashmir and North-East, Mani said that the Indian Army have already faced the mighty Pakistani Army as well as the Chinese Army valiantly in so many wars, but that kind of disciplined and courageous Army have to rely on some act just to counter the small insurgent groups of the North-East.
The imposition of AFSPA has clearly indicated the de facto conflict situation of the northeastern region which the Central government tends to take it lightly. Moreover, the decision of the Union Home Minister not to utilize Army in countering the dreaded Maoists is again a sign of discrimination meted out to the people of North-East, Mani asserted.
He further maintained that there is no goodness in AFSPA and so it has to be repealed for the common people to live peacefully. The state should safeguard the human rights of the people. The people should be aware of the differences between crime and human rights violation. The Article 3 of Geneva Convention mentions the human rights violation carried out either by state or non-state actors, Mani added.
The former member of Manipur Human Rights Commission, Yambem Laba stated that the law and order situation of a state deteriorates especially when the law enforcers themselves break the law.
The Human Rights Commission is concerned only with the cases of human rights violation carried by public servants who come under the purview of the law and not with those of non-state actors who have declared as outlawed, he noted.
The deputy ombudsman of MGNREGS, Imphal-East district, Wahengbam Joykumar said that people should come out daringly to expose the truth in cases related to human rights violation.
The report compiled by HRLN is the first of its kind book which will be helpful in the documentation of human rights violation in the state, he opined.
Joykumar also stated that people should demand for their socio-economic rights such as right to food apart from the civil and political rights.
The report entitled “Manipur in the Shadow of AFSPA” has been published by Human Rights Law Network. It includes the case history of the victims of extra-judicial killing, torture and enforced disappearances, findings and recommendations of the independent people’s tribunal, critique of Justice Jeevan Reddy’s report on AFSPA and ten years of satyagraha fast of Irom Sharmila Chanu.
The case history of 42 victims including Chungkham Sanjit and Thokchom Rabina who were killed in the July 23 Khwairamband firing have been included in the report.
Apart from the case history of the victims, the findings and recommendations of the tribunal which comprised of Justice KK Usha, retired Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, Justice DK Basu, former Judge of Calcutta High Court, Justice Malay Sengupta, former acting Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court, Justice Th. Sudhir Singh, retired District and Session Court, Manipur East, Justice C. Upendra, retired District and Session Judge, Manipur, (late) Justice Lisham Rabindra Singh, retired Judge of Family Court, Manipur, and Yambam Laba, former member of Manipur Human Rights Commission, are included in the report.
The recommendations of the panel members mention that AFSPA must be repealed as per Justice Jeevan Reddy Commission; misuse of provisions of National Security Act, Disturbed Area Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act should be checked by the state; an independent human rights commission should be established in the state; transparent and thorough investigation should be initiated by the state immediately into each one of the alleged fake encounters; reports of enquiries by judicial or executive or any independent body to investigate incidents of fake encounters should be made public; rehabilitation for the family members of the deceased and injured should be provided; para-military forces should be withdrawn from the state as far as possible; and legal literacy should be given to the people through National Legal Services Authority.
The article on Irom Sharmila Chanu dwells on her epic fast struggling for the repeal of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the soil of Manipur.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Indian politics is not about integrity. It’s about being in the power, nepotism, favoritism, regionalism, caste and religion. No Indian leader is bigger than the party. Let me give you a few recent examples:
    Uma Bharti, then a star campaigner of BJP was the enigma behind wrestling Mighty Congress rule in Madhya Pradesh. She was a hardcore RSS cum BJP leader who of course spent her entire life till date for the cause of BJP. She had a fallout with BJP and she formed a party -Lok Janshakti Party. Now, she vanishes from Indian politics.

    Amar Singh- then a dynamic, intelligent and brand image Samata Party left his party. In his heydays, he can say anything to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and any other leader irrespective of party. Rahul Gandhi, visited funeral ceremony of Amar Singh’s father despite those bitter personal attacks. He played a big role in passing the nuclear bill when BJP almost overturn the UPA. He is nowhere now in the scene of Indian politics after he left the party.

    Lalu Prashad Yadav, once the most colorful politician of India, he is now just an unwanted guest in Delhi.

    Jagmohan Reddy, he quit congress. He is a mass leader and has big followers. He could have thrown out the state congress government and Sonia Gandhi a lesson. But, he acted too civilized. He may regret his act of kindness towards congress.

    Mr. Yeddurappa, in the hit of Adarsh scam which took away the post of CM in Maharastra, he assign prime land worth crores to his son for a few lakhs. A big land scam. Mr. Gadkari and entire BJP was helpless sincwe Mr. Yeddurappa has strong local support as well as requisite number of Mps who will support him.

    Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), currently termed as Conress Bureau of Investigation is not interested in investigating the disproportionate property cases pertaining to Yadavas of SP and Maharani Mayawatti of BSP. Why? Simple, the number.

    Dr. Manmohan Singh is a highly qualified PM of India. But it doesn’t mean that he is a man of integrity. He loves his chair as much as any politician in India. He lost sleep when Md. Haneef was questioned by Australian police for possible terrorist link. Because, without muslim support, congress is nothing. He showed human emotion in Haneef’s case. But, when Manipur was starved to almost death during 2 month economic blockade by NSF and UNC with the support of NSCN IM, he was professional, calm and was never in hurry to solve it.

    Sonia Gandhi rush to talk to agitating Gujjars. When she visited Imphal, she was ever silly. She didn’t take question related to the common problems faced by people of Manipur. She didn’t want to learn that price of petrol in Imphal is Rs 150 /ltr, rice is rs 75/Kg.

    Army is a subordinate of Indian parliament. So, at least unite the people of NE so that people hear our voice.

    I love Sharmila for her sacrifice. A priceless sacrifice, Sacrifice of her life of youth which never could be restored even if her goal is achieved and will forever repent if her goal is not achieved. So sad that foolishness, division and hatred among us will make a supreme sacrifice useless.

  2. I have been thinking more. In a perfect world the argument for justice and common sense would have already won. Given that this is the world in which we live perhaps opponents to AF(SP)A might consider skillful means. The Army General needs to be given face. In the last interview given by the Asia Defence News which is the army propaganda machine he is introduced as General Singh then more letters after his name than either before or in it, 27th General of the Second Largest Army in the world, they might as well have added a man that needs no introduction. He needs to be given a way to move off from his position without losing face and preferably claiming a victory. I just want AF(SP)A withdrawn.

    There was a striking NDTV special report on Manipur for the tenth anniversary of Sharmila’s satyagraha. They showed some Indian Commandoes patrolling Loktak in a wooden canoe the man on point looked like he could drown at any moment in his kevlar jacket. Retaining AF(SP)A costs the Government budget just the occasional 1 lac payment for compensation for fake encounters. If they paid out for every disappearance running at 500 a year that’s still 5 crore per year which the Act is costing the country that doesn’t include loss of productivity and all the other costs that this evil AF(SP)A allows.

    For the General it has been pointed out that artillery has not been updated in the Indian Army for twenty years. Going back to that special report of NDTV. Hovercrafts or Aerofoils or any of the more modern amphibious crafts would be effective weapons for the military to use on Loktak lake, to replace their current supply of wooden canoes and wooden paddles.

    In London the traffic cops have helicopters fitted with night vision, heat vision cameras to follow car thieves at night and direct cops on the ground to where they are hiding. And the ordinary tourist can purchase a ride on refitted Amphibious crafts for going across the Thames and through olde london town.

    If you are serious about rethinking NE policy more effectively combine with the Army in demanding they get up to date technology, then they can drop AF(SP)A which is a tool only to get them arrested on war crimes the day they try entering Sandhurst to give some memorial lecture. If you are serious about no complaining no begging then seek new alliances. All I want is for AF(SP)A to be repealed. The rest of Manipur’s problems can be taken similarly one at a time.

  3. Sometimes, the Indian authorities act in such as way that NE people are 2nd grade citizens. Well, the basic reason is we don’t have the number to influence in the parliament. Simply, we people of North east doesn’t have any political say at all.

    This problem is compounded by ethenic hatred among the people of notrth east. Had the people of NE states unite, then we would have been playing one of the big role in Indian politics. Most probably, AFSPA would have been a thing of history.

    Why Mamata Banerjee (so silly (excuse me if I offend somebody)) and Jayalalitha (Ex-Actor) can make the central goverment dance in their finger?

    Everybody knws. The number.

    Same as Sharad power, mulayam singh yadav.

    Why can’t north east people do this?
    Hatred among ethenics groups.
    See the number

    14 assam
    2 nagaland
    2 manipur
    2 AP
    2 meghalaya
    1 mizoram
    2 tripura
    1 sikkim

    Total is 26.

    If a NE- regional party (call it NERP) can be formed and win at least 15+ seats, then thye scenario of NE will be entirely different.

    Let’s stop begging politicians from other regions. They will be least cared for the people of NE.

    Lalu could never look beyond Bihar. So does Didi in West Bengal. Modi is good for Gujarat. DMK won’t realize that NE is also part of India where development is required. Sonia madam will be tender and delicate to the people of UP. Rahul Gandhi will sleep in the tribal village of chambal ravines.

    Unite the people of NE so that we get political equality.

    Criticising army chief doesn’t make any sense. Writing beutifully worded memorendum to PM of India won’t bring any change.

    Didi can support the naxals openly. That is humanitarian. That is right move. Army chief will not recommend use of Army in naxal hit areas in central india since it is inhuman.

    But, NE?
    AFPSA is mandatory. Army is justified. Fake killing is acceptable.

    So, let’s unite politically to move into a new era.
    No complain, no begging.

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