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Convention on Repeal of AFSPA held at New Delhi

On the occasion of the completion of 15 years of hunger strike, a Convention on Repeal of AFSPA was held at Indian Social Institute, New Delhi yesterday co-organized by Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC), Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR), Students Islamic Oganisation (SIO), Bonded Labour Liberation Front, Just Peace Foundation (JPF), FORUM ASIA, Human Rights Alert (HRA).
Neingulo Krome, Secretary General of Naga People’s Movement for Human, extended solidarity to Irom Sharmila and higlighted the increase of Army atrocities to the civilians after singing of the 3 August Peace Agreement. 
Swami Agnivesh, eminent activist and spiritual leader, calls the religious groups to break their silence on the human rights abuses.
Prof. Nandini Sunder shared two heart-rending stories of applicant to the Irom Sharmila Scholarship for students coming from AFSPA affected areas. She demanded citizen in AFSPA should not be treated as sub-human.
Babloo Loitongbam of Human Rights Alert expressed his happiness that they are sharing the platform with NPMHR after a long time. He brought out the increasing challenge of meeting Sharmila after the new Home Ministry Notification, which requires prior-permission and hefty deposit of rupees one lakh. He also brought out the fact that Sharmila has be remanded attest 365 time on the same false charge of attempt to suicide and yet the democratic community of this country fail to generate political pressure to expose this falsehood.

Prof. Deepti Priya Mehrotra, author of Irom Sharmila’s book Burning Bright, admired her persistent struggle and pointed out the she is a practitioner of “Philosophical Non-violence” and not just “Strategic Non-Violence”.  She called for the wind of solidarity to blow from all sides.
Prof. Sanjoy Hazarika, member of the Reevan Reddy Committee, summed up AFSPA an execution without trial. He pointed out that this law clearly discriminates amongst citizens.
Advocate Ashoka Aggarwal, striking slightly despondent note, expressed his lack of hope of any significant change in the near future to would lead to AFSPA being repealed. He blamed his pessimism on the entrenched political economy of the conflict that continues to fuel this impunity.
Henri Tiphange, Chairperson of FORUM ASIA, calling Sharmila’s 15 years hunger strike as a brave struggle against injustice, appealed for solidarity from across India.
Chinglen of the North East International Solidarity invited everyone to participant in the one-day hunger strike at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar to commemorate Sharmila’s 15 years of selfless struggle.       

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