Irom Sharmila’s protest against AFSPA completes 15 years

A historic day went by quietly on Sunday as Human Right activist from Manipur. Irom Chanu Sharmila completed 15 years of her hunger strike against the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act 1958. The 42 year old, Manipuri started her fast in 2000, after the genocide of 10 innocent civilian by the Assam Rifles in Malom, Imphal. Amnesty International, on Sunday said it was “15 years of the selfless and unparalleled protest”.
A simple commemoration function was jointly organised by Women Action for Development, North East Dialogue Forum, United NGOs Mission-Manipur Imphal East, Samaritan Resource Centre, People’s Platform Secretariat, Village Women Coordinating Committee, Peoples’ for Human Right and Climate Change at Manipur Press Club today
Sharmila’s struggle to repeal AFSPA-1958 is the longest hunger strike in the world. It is also in the largest democracy in the world. India with intend decided not to respect the democratic and non-violence movement to repeal AFSPA. The people in North-East in general and Manipur in particular are under the Non-Commission Officer of Class VIII passed for the last 60 years. The people in Manipur are under military marshal law i.e. Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958.
Sharmila has sacrifices her life to the cause of Human Rights in the world. In several occasion, she was inhumanly treated by the Government.
In 2013, the Supreme Court of India had exhaustive investigation against the killing of 7 persons (in 6 cases) and proved that the entire seven person were civilians. In any matter, they are not connected with any Armed Non-State actors. It is also further proves that most of them were killed after arrest and brutally tortured.
We strongly condemned such kind of brutal action of the Indian Armed Forces to the innocent civilians in Manipur.
In May 2015, AFSPA was imposed in 12 districts in Arunachal Pradesh without the knowledge of the State Government. After the people’s protest, Government of India withdraws the imposition of AFSPA from the 12 districts in Arunachal Pradesh. Here’s what we have to note that, if there is political will both Centre and Manipur Government can repeal AFSPA immediately.
In December 2014, Amnesty International India had also appealed to the Government of India to release Sharmila immediately and unconditionally.
“The Indian Government’s decision to decriminalize suicide is in line with the increasing global trend. This move should lead to the immediate release of Irom Sharmila, who has been held in detention merely for exercising her freedom of expression in peaceful manner” Shailesh Rai, Programme Director at Amnesty International India, had said.
The British Medical Association, in a briefing to the World Medical Association, has said that, “hunger strike is not equivalent to suicide. Individuals who embark on hunger strikes aim to achieve goals important to them but generally hope and intend to survive.”
Shri R.N. Ravi made a statement on December 2013 at Puducherry to repeal AFSPA. We deeply appreciate the courage of Union Government of India to withdraw AFSPA from Tripura since May 2013. However, it is there but not operational.
On 31st May 2015, Major Aditya Kapoor was involved in shooting in Setu Aimol village under Chandel District and killed a woman. On 6th April 2015, the Commanding Officer Mr. Rajiv Choudhury shouted “COME OUT ALL WOMEN, NOW THE WAR HAS BEGUN. I COMMAND 2000 SOLDIER”. What action has taken against his behavior which openly and officially declared war in Manipur?
Earlier, we experienced that many women were raped and murder by the Security Forces under Armed Forces Special Powers Act. It is very upset to know that Indian Army use raped as an instrument of war under the UN Security Council Resolution 1820.This is war crime.
The meet demand release Irom Sharmila immediately and repeal AFSPA from Manipur and urged to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to investigate all the cases of extrajudicial execution, sexual violence against Thangjam Manorama and punish the members of the Indian Armed Forces according to Indian Law and International Law.
The meet also urge to Government of India to provide compensation and rehabilitation of the victims.

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