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Lethal Shadow Of AFSPA

IMPHAL, Jan 18: Contending the repeated assertions of the Army that insurgency could not be controlled without Armed Forces Special Powers Act, senior advocate Khaidem Mani has questioned the Army whether it means that they are too weak or it wants to go on carrying out excesses with impunity.

Speaking at the release of an Independent People’s Tribal Report titled ‘˜Manipur in the shadow of AFSPA‘ at Manipur Press Club here today, Mani, who presided over the function, pointed out that Indian Army has repeated stressed that Armed Forces Special Powers Act is essential for fighting against insurgents.

‘˜Does this mean that Indian Army is too weak to fight against insurgents without AFSPA or does it simply mean that Indian Army wants continue to violent human rights with impunity granted under AFSPA ?”, he questioned the Army.

Reacting to the remarks made by Major General DS Hooda on the necessity of AFSPA in fighting insurgents during a recent seminar held at MU, Mani noted that Indian Army is supposed to be one of the strongest military forced in the world. The strength of the India Army has already been proved at the battle fields of Kargil, at the time of partition of Bangladesh from Pakistan.

So, the assertion of the Indian Army that they would not be able to fight against insurgents in the North East India without AFSPA is ridiculous, he concluded.

The report which was released today has been based on the Independent People’s Tribunal conducted under the aegis of Human Rights Law Network at Retreat House, Mantripukhri from December 11 to 13, 2009. Former member of Manipur Human Rights Commission Yambem Laba and MGNREGS deputy ombudsman Wahengbam Joykumar were also presented at the occasion of releasing the report as chief guest and guest of honor respectively. Delivering the key note address of the function, director of Human Rights Law Network, Imphal chapter Meihoubam Rakesh said that the Independent People’s Tribunal had been facilitated to find out the extent of human rights violation perpetrated by the security forces on the people of the armed conflict region like Manipur and to encourage the victims to speak up.

So, the report of the tribunal is the documentary evidences of human rights violations by security forces on the people of Manipur. In the report, there are in all 42 cases of victims of AFSPA, seven articles written by different people on the excesses being committed under AFSPA and the observations and recommendations of the 6-member jury of the tribunal. In addition, there are also four write-ups based on the Justice Jeevan Reddy Report on AFSPA.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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