Circumstances instances is a clear fact that the people of this region are being treated as second class citizen in free India as draconian Armed Forces Special P owers Act- 1958 (AFSP A) has been imposed in the region since early 1980s. It is a matter of record how inhumane is the act which had slaughtered, forcible made disappeared and turned many youths to physically remain handicapped the rest of their lifetime. The story does not end with the kind of inhuman excess committed under the draconian legislation, but it is also worth remembering you that because of the killing and atrocities many women are left to live life of a widow and many children are left as orphan. The society has been greatly affected after AFSP A came into force in the state and every human being of this country including the PMO have every details of the crime being underway under the shadow of this dreaded inhuman and barbaric legislation which empower security force to act on mere suspicion. It will be perhaps waste of time to once more remind on how the act has been used by some vested interested individuals in the security force as a tool to eliminate any person on their will. There are many instances of the kind, but one thing worth drawing your attention is the killing of 11 person including women and a bravery award winner child at Malom Keithel in Bishnupur district back in 2000. It was after the incident that a Manipuri lady Irom Chanu Sharimila has been undergoing a fast unto death protest for repeal of the act. But the non existence of the so call democratic system in a democratic country finally had let her taken another option. Today , the Supreme Court of India is showing serious concerns. Case of fake encounter killing , some under the shadow of the AFSP A are being investigated. And the verdict is likely to come out soon. In this 21 st century when India dream to become one of the most powerful nation in the world, when India aims to take a leadership role in the world politics, it is time that every leader ponder upon on whether it is right to impose a draconian act to rule a group of people which anatomical look is completely different from the rest of the country . By imposing AFSP A India now have two classes of citizens – one citizen with complete freedom and the other citizen who were deprive of living a free life. It is also worth mentioning that, the so called ASFP A that we in the Imphal Times is bringing up to the public spare have been even term as “inhumane Act” by former P rime Minister Dr . Manmohan Singh. P . Chindambaram the then Home Minister during UP A government had also stated that AFSP A should be repealed. And besides all these the present P rime Minister Mr . Narendra Modi had in his heart throbbing speech delivered at Madison Square Garden in New York had promised that his government will scrape all outdated law . AFSP A is no doubt an outdated law . It was used by the British Colonial regime to suppress the Indian Freedom struggle. The contents of the ordinance, now legislation is suppressive, inhuman and unbearable. If our great country India is targeting and aiming to become the one time Britain of 18 century and consider Manipur as a colony that imposition of AFSP A is all right. Then the true picture will be known by not only the people of Manipur but also by all the people across the globe. If army is the cause for the government’ s reluctant to repeal the outdated draconian law , then why discrimination, by only imposing it in certain part of the country . The world knows the kind of violent activism in the naxal hit areas of Northern and Southern India. Why AFSP A is not imposed in such state? It is on record that a Central government Minister had once stated that AFSP A cannot be imposed in Northern and Sourthern Naxal hit area as we cannot kill our own people. If the government knows that AFSP A is to kill people why impose here in Manipur and at few other state. Is the hidden agenda of the India government to kill all the people of certain state utilizing AFSP A as a tool? Last, but not the least, those in power , ruling the country showed some seriousness over this act then there is reason for the people to believe that Narendra Modi Govt. do care for all citizens of the country
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. A avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.