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Kids Sensitized To Ugly Reality Of AFSPA

IMPHAL, May 22: As part of the nationwide campaign for the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Just Peace Foundation organized a children’s parliament at Hotel Imphal today.

Former Member of Manipur Human Rights Commission, Yambem Laba, who was the Speaker of the parliament, recommended the repeal of the controversial Act at the end of the discussion observing that AFSPA is no more desirable in the modern world.

In all, eight students took part in the parliament, out of which seven students spoke in favor of the motion — ‘It is right time to repeal AFSPA’ — while one student pitched against the motion.

Students at the Treasury Bench opined that AFSPA 1958 creates fear in the minds of young students by giving sweeping power to security forces to torture, harass and take the lives of innocent people on mere suspicion of having connection with insurgents.

As the Act has granted legal immunity to security forces, they have become a dreaded tribe to children.

They feel uncomfortable on coming across security personnel as children do not take them as protectors but perpetrators.

It observed that different insurgent groups have mushroomed despite the Act being imposed in the State since past many decades testifying that AFSPA is not a means to solve insurgency.

The young children observed that number of human rights violation cases involving security personnel are increasing in the State due to the imposition of the draconian Act.

They further contended that the Act has become a weapon to torture and kill innocent people, so it must be repealed at once.

Moreover, the Act does not clearly specify the meaning of Disturbed Area as well, the Treasury Bench noted.

Elaborating on the children parliament, Human Rights Alert Executive Director Babloo Loitongbam aid, the parliament was organized as a part of the Nation-wide

Executive Director Babloo Loitongbam said, it was organized as a part of the nation-wide campaign against AFSPA initiated by various civil rights bodies in connection with the completion of 53 years’ of its imposition in the North East. Saying that two generations have already endured the hardships meted out by the draconian Act, Babloo exhorted all to stand united against AFSPA. He added that drama, discussion, films on AFSPA would be screened at different places as a part of the campaign.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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