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Silencing the significance of Human Rights Day

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Today the nation joined the world community in celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Manipur is no exception. Human Rights bodies, Civil rights organizations and even the state government statutory body the Manipur State Human Rights Commission observed the day to commemorate the day. But the way the day is being celebrated looks rather a festival pseudo intellects talking about the Rights of the common people instead of acting to protect the rights they talk about when it comes to the state of Manipur. Recently, a onetime lawyer activist, Khaidem Mani has been appointed the Acting Chairperson of the Manipur Human Rights Commission, but so far the commission says nothing about the arbitrary detention of Wangkhem Kishorchand under NSA after he was released on bail by a district court on November 26. Except for one Human Rights body called Human Rights Alert, no civil bodies had expressed any words regarding the detention even though everybody knows that the case is a gross violation of human rights by the state.
Dissent are now treated as anti national, rights of the common people to demonstrate peaceful protest against the wrong committed by government is forbidden, secularism guaranteed under the Constitution of India has become a mere joke as no action has been taken up so against any leader who spewed venom to different religious organization. Those criticizing the government policy towards the failure to improve the condition of farmers and proletariats are anti-national. Cow’s right is more important than the rights of Indian citizens. A Maharastra government MLA who provoked youths by telling them to kidnap and married gets no action which prove that women in the country are not safe.  This is the present trend in India and the same is happening here in the state of Manipur.
In the name of development, common villagers are displaced time and again. The construction of large DAM like Thoubal Multipurpose  Dam has submerged one of the most beautiful villages of the state call Chadong in Ukhrul district, and in the name of road renovation and widening works trees are being cut down which indirectly violated the rights of the people by killing fresh and healthy air. In the state of Manipur even right to breath fresh air has been deprived, right to live a peaceful life has been deprived with the state authority failing to implement laws like prohibition of Industries which make sounds from their machineries or using of load horn near school or residential area.
People of the state still are yet to get some of the basic rights like proper drinking water, shelter etc.
People across the world know that in the state of Manipur, which was very much part of India, 1528 victims of extra judicial killings are still yet to get justice. Arbitrary detention still continues. Draconian law – the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, still is enforced in the state. Under the shadow of the Act crime against humanity have been many time committed by government actors.
One very common scene notice is the so called combing operation conducted many times by the state police and sometimes in co-ordination with the para military and army even at many place of the 7 assembly segment where the government had removed the disturbed area status. People of the state are more like living in a war like situation. Men , women ,students and even children were forced to wake up early in wee hour and were made stand for hours in the name of verification. Later they will be set free again saying that verification has been done. When such combing operation are done common innocent citizen are disturbed, there rights to take rest are disturbed. Children and students are disturbed. The question is – under what provision of the Indian law that people of a locality are disturbed and harassed. If such is assume legitimate then why the India government is not declaring the state of Manipur as a conflict state so that a third party from the United Nation could interfere.
Celebrating the Human Rights Day in commemoration to the 70th Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nation will only be meaningful if Rights guaranteed are fulfilled to all the citizen of the country particularly the state of Manipur.   

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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