One day meet deliberates on life under AFSPA


By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 22: Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL) organised a  one day meeting to mark the 61 years of imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, at Lamyanba Shanglen, Konung Mamang today.
A report of Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights in Manipur and UN (CSCHR) submitted to the United Nations' Human Rights Committee on May 12 last year, was released during the meeting.
Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) former member as well as senior advocate, Kh Chonjon and AMKIL president, Phanjoubam Sakhi, attended the convention as dignitaries.
Committee on Human Rights (COHR) Manipur chairman Phunildro Konsam,  Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM) president T Renu, United Committee Manipur general secretary Khuraijam Athouba Meitei and Human Rights Defender Manipur (HRDM) director Ch Joy attended the event as guests of honour.
Speaking at the function, senior Advocate Kh Chonjon said that demanding the removal of AFSPA from the State is not  enough and added that it is of utmost importance to remove the Act from the statute book once and for all.
Citing the ill effects of imposing the Act in the North East region, he maintained that AFSPA was put into force only to subdue the people of the State and the NE region.
The people, both in the hills and the valley, have faced the negative impact of this Act (which was first imposed as an ordinance) in the form of several varying degrees of violence, he added.
The senior Advocate went on to state that the Act is the very opposite of the "Right to Life" which is granted by the Constitution.
He further stressed on a collective effort and cooperation by the people of the State, to join the fight which has been spearheaded by EEVFAM, HRA and human right activists.
Meanwhile, T Renu said that as a result of the collective effort of EEVFAM and Human Rights' Alert (HRA), 1528 fake encounter cases have been successfully submitted to the Supreme Court and now the CBI has initiated necessary investigation into some of the said cases.
Even then, several hindrances and difficulties often pop up from time to time and one of the major blockades has been the failure of the Government to grant prosecution sanction which has led to various inconveniences in some of the cases which have been taken up the CBI.
Several outside forces are preventing the cases from getting speedy justice, she said, adding that those cases which involve the Indian army personnel, are slow-moving.
Lack of support from the people and genuine assistance from witnesses, are other problems faced by EEVFAM and HRA in delivering justice for the victims.
Speaking as a resource person, HRA executive director Babloo Loitongbam conveyed that United Nations Human Rights Committee will be keeping a close vigil as well as start deliberating on whether the people of the country are getting  or experiencing the necessary human rights given under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The report released today contains five issues of Manipur  which include the demand to examine whether the provision of AFSPA is similar or different when compared to the provisions of International Covenant.
He further stated that the report also explains the lack of effective method when it comes to getting justice for the victims of violence and brutality under AFSPA, failure of the Indian Government to recognise the ethnic minority in the North East and Manipur  and to eliminate any form of objection to the demand by the ethnic minority for their basic rights.