Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Meet held to mark 50 yrs of AFSPA

The Imphal Free Press

Imphal, Sep 11: A convention on "Violence of the invisible 9/11, Reflections on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act" was oganized by the Just Peace Foundation today at Hotel Anand. The convention was held to mark the 50th year since the imposition of the 1958 Act on September 11.

Among the participants were well known lawyer activist, Nandita Haksar, Prof KM Chenoy, JNU, Prof. Soyam Lokendra, MU, Prof. Ak Bimol, JNU, Prof Lokendra Arambam, ex-minister Lt Col H Bhuban and many senior citizens.

Ak. Bimol in his key note address said although Act had been briefly enforced in Punjab and since 1972 in Kashmir too, it was the people of the North East and Kashmir who are reeling under its violence and impunity continously.

"The covention today is to remind ourselves on the violence of the Act and to reflect on it in order to strengthen our struggle against it," he said.

Guest of Honor, Ningthoujam Binoy Singh President of the Manipur Olympic Accociation said that he had personally witnessed many instances of security personnel doing whatever they willed against the people of Manipur and reiterated that there should be unity amogst the people to take a stand against the act.

Prof. Sadananda, President Senior Citizens Manipur in his presidentail speech said though the Jeevan Reddy Commission has recommended that the Act be repealed, the reluctance of the Government do to so only shows their indifference to the plight of the people.

Speaking at the convention, Prof Chenoy said the India is emerging to be a state security oriented state and not a people security oriented state. He said this attitude needs to be overhauled.

He said in India which has over 4000 different communities, there is no way social harmony can be guaranteed than to make a "rainbow coalition" a reality.

Nandita Haksar pointed out how India's new land acquisition bill is oriented towards this same state security approach.

Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi of the People's Vigillance Committee on Human Rights said that though there are cases of violence and strife in many other parts of the country, it was only in the North Eastern of India that the Armed Forces Act was being enforced.

After the actively participated discussions, the meet not only called for a repeal of the AFSPA but also for the civil society to introspect and discover its own weaknesses.


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