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Saturday 1 October 2011

Irom Sharmila Solidarity Campaign

Irom Sharmila Solidarity Campaign
Repeal AFSPA NOW!!
Being launched on the 2nd October and will go on till 10th December across India -Join the campaign on 2nd October 2011 in Mumbai
Date: 2nd October 2011
Time: 9.00 am to 11 .00 am
Venue: Mahatma Gandhi Statue, near Mantralaya, Churchgate
Armed Forces Special Powers Act, a colonial legacy used against Mahatma Gandhi, was promulgated initially in the Naga areas of Assam (later divided between 4 states) and later in Mizoram, initially in parts of Manipur and later in all of Manipur. The ordinance after a brief discussion in the Parliament was endorsed and got the status of Act on August 18, 1958, despite stiff resistance from various quarters who challenged it as a martial and draconian law. Since then it has been in force in one part or the other of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir (since 1991). The continuation of the 'disturbed area' status under the AFSPA in many part of the country is illegal in view of the violation of the mandatory six monthly periodic reviews directed by Supreme Court in its 1997 Judgement.
AFSPA continues to be the most potent repressive tool of the Indian state that empowers even a non commissioned officer of the armed forces of the Union to kill on mere suspicion and provide legal immunity from prosecution, thereby causing untold misery and agony among the peoples of the affected regions. The imposition of AFSPA is synonymous to heavy militarisation in these states leading to gross civil and political rights violations including enforced disappearances, extra-judicial execution, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, rape and other forms of sexual violence against women, arbitrary arrest and detention.
This law is more draconian than its predecessor act used by the British to suppress the Quit India Movement. On the pretext of controlling insurgency, this Act has only intensified the insurgency in the region and legitimised thousands of gross human rights violations like rape, torture, murder and “disappearances” of innocent people in the North East and J&K. The democratic movements in the North East and J&K have consistently demanded the repeal of the Act and demilitarisation for decades.
People’s movements all across North-East and J & K and other parts of India have been struggling for repeal of this draconian Act. Relentless struggle for last one decade by Manipur People’s Movement led by Irom Sharmila- known to us , is one of the many struggles on this issue across various states.
Along with the struggles of millions of people against the militarisation and the AFSPA, the hunger fast of Irom Sharmila Chanu is going to complete 11 years now . She is being force fed through her nose by the Government, arrested on charges for attempt to commit suicide, criminalised as a high security prisoner, denying her access to family, friends, supporters and the media. It is a shame that in this land of Gandhi, a non-violent protester has been subjected to such humiliation for more than a decade. Even as she continues her struggle along with many in the NE and J&K, we appeal to our comrades in human rights groups and people’s movements across the country to demand repeal of the AFSPA along with other draconian laws like the UAPA, MCOCA, CSPSA etc. and resist the increasing cutailment of democratic spaces.
In Solidarity and support to struggle against the Armed Forces Special Power Act various programme and action are being held all across India under the banner of the Save Irom Sharmila Solidairy Campaign from October 2nd – the Non Violence Day - and will culminate at Delhi on December 1oth – the Human Rights Day.
Let us Join hands in this struggle and to highlight the relentless fast for the last 11 years by Irom Sharmila as well as all other struggles against the Armed Forces Special Power ACT.
Ø The Government should make serious efforts to have meaningful dialogue with Irom Sharmila and seriously take action to fulfil her demands for which she had put her life at stake.
Ø An all party delegation should meet Irom Sharmila and give her Manipur people’s Movement serious hearing and raise her concerns in the parliament .
Ø We demand that the NHRC should immediately visit her and Manipur to give heed to the human rights violation in the area and to take appropriate action.
Ø Government should immediately work out and announce a phased, time-bound demilitarisation plan to withdraw the Army and other para -military forces from internal security duties in NE States and J&K.
Please join the campaign in Mumbai ... please confirm your participation ...
Guddi S.L, GG Parikh, Sukla Sen, Daniel Mazgoankar, Asad , Shimanshu, Suhas Kolhekar, Simpreet Singh, Jatin Desai, Mukta Srivastava
Contact: 9869059860, 9969530060

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