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NEFIS calls on to unleash mass movement for repeal of AFSPA

by IT Web Admin
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Imphal, July 28: North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) wishes its best to Irom Sharmila, who has decided to put an end to her epic fast. It should be known that Irom Sharmila has decided to break her 16-year fast against the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers (AFSPA) Act, which has failed to yield any gains or have any effect on the Central Government. Nevertheless, it can be said with certainty that Irom Sharmila has done her bit to address the issue and her sacrifice will always be remembered. But now, the time has arrived to unleash a mass movement for removal of AFSPA.
Irom Sharmila began her fast as a mark of protest against AFSPA, the provisions of which have been used by the Indian Army to use draconian measures including killings and encounters, against Indian people. The act gives soldiers sweeping powers to arrest or interrogate people in “disturbed areas” or states dealing with separatists or insurgents. Despite the fact that Irom Sharmila’s fast was one of the most peaceful modes of resistance; the Indian Government has remained apathetic towards the plight of its own people and continues to perpetrate brutalities upon them.
There is, however, a misgiving arising among people that Irom Sharmila’s decision to withdraw her fast and enter electoral politics, will jeopardize the movement against AFSPA. NEFIS believes that everyone is free to chalk out one’s strategy and wishes her the best. But we also believe that the electoral politics will not yield any gains for the movement. The struggle should be taken ahead by the masses. Therefore, the need of the hour is to unleash a massive people’s movement against AFSPA.
The interim observation of Supreme Court condemning the large scale killings in Manipur in the guise of self defence while dealing with insurgency or militants as unacceptable, has already given a moral vindication to the people’s struggle against AFSPA. The scrapping of this draconian AFSPA act, as the final aim of our struggle will remain and Supreme Court’s observation will act as a moral font for the mass movement in the coming future.

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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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