Home » AFSPA must be repealed to facilitate release of Irom Sharmila- Justice Sachar

AFSPA must be repealed to facilitate release of Irom Sharmila- Justice Sachar

New  Delhi. The Socialist Party observed one-day token fast on 12 October (Dr. Lohia’s Death Anniversary) 2014 in all the states demanding the release of Irom Sharmila and repeal of the Armed Forces Special Power Act (Assam and Manipur) 1958. The Delhi unit of the party observed the fast at Jantar Mantar in which members of the party and Socialist Yuvjan Sabha (SYS) participated in a big number. Justice Rajindar Sachar, speaking on this occasion, said that the AFSPA must be repealed to facilitate the release of Irom Sharmila who has been protesting against this draconian law for 14 years. All Indians who believe in democracy and non-violence should unite in support of this demand. He urged the President and the Supreme Court to intervene in this one of the most serious issues of our time.
ND Pancholi (vice president, PUCL), Arun Kumar Srivastav (general secretary, Janata Dal United), Mr. PC Hamzha (secretary, Welfare Party), Rafiq (secretary, Social Democratic Party), Sharif Ahemad (member, Congress), Faisal Khan (president, Khudai Khidmatgar), Imamur Rehman (representative, Jamate Islami), scholars Dr. Vir Bharat Talwar, Dr. Apoorvanand, Dr. VP Srivastav, Dr. Bhagwan Singh, social activists Bina Lakshmi Nepram, Dr. Onkar Mittal, Virendra Lobo, Devendra Bharati, Rakhi Gupta, Ratan Chandra Manav, journalists Arun Trpathi, Dinesh Tiwari, Baba Vijendra, Rajesh Mishra, Rajiv Singh, socialist leaders Shyam Gambhir, Sultan Qureshi, KP Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ramavtar Swami Baba and others attended the fast and extended their support for the cause.
Sumit Chakravarty (editor, Mainstream), Prof. Anil Sadgopal (educationist), Anil Nauriya (senior fellow, NMML) and Surendra Kumar (secretary, Gandhi Peace Foundation) sent their messages of support.
The program was chaired by Dr. Prem Singh. Stating about the follow up program he told that Justice Sachar, Kuldip Nayar, Dr. Sandeep Pandey and Pannalal Surana will meet the President to whom following memorandum was submitted at the end of the fast :
Oct. 12, 2014
His Excellency
Shri Pranab Mukherjee
President of India

Respected Sir
14 years ago on 2nd November 2000, the security forces gunned down 10 innocent citizens at a bus stop in Imphal. The dead included an 80 year old woman and a bravery award winner child. Shaken by the incident Irom Chanu Sharmila, after 3 days, started her indefinite fast against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Assam and Manipur) 1958 (AFSPA) that shields the security forces even after such indiscriminate firings on innocent people. In her protest she has been following the non-violent path of Gandhiji and keeps a statue of legendary Meerabai by the side of her bed in the hospital ward.
She was released by the court in August this year saying that there is no case for attempted suicide against her. But the police arrested her again after three days of her acquittal. Driven by love and compassion, Irom Sharmila is not aligned with any organization or ideology. The protest of Sharmila represents the most ideal form of peaceful struggle for a democratic demand. Her life is in danger considering her already fragile health due to the forced feeding for 14 years. The state, which complains about violent struggles, is not comfortable with the most peaceful of all protests.
Sir, the AFSPA in northeast has been synonym for extra judicial killings, extra judicial deprivation of liberty to people by illegal imposition of curfew, long periods of detention at army posts and camps and use of churches and schools as detention or interrogation centers. Who can forget the stunning sight of about three dozen naked women protesting on the street outside the then Assam Rifles headquarters at Kangla Fort in Imphal carrying placards saying ‘Indian Army rape us,’ outraged by the rape, torture and murder of 32 year old unmarried Thangjam Manorama?
Presence of armed forces in emergency or special situation is understandable, but its continuous presence has alienated people to significant extent. The number of insurgent groups has increased during the application of AFSPA in Manipur. Hence AFSPA must be repealed.
Demanding the release of Irom Sharmila and the repeal of AFSPA, the Socialist Party has observed a day of fasting in all the states on 12 October (death anniversary of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia) 2014. Sir, through this memorandum we request you to please intervene in this long-pending contentious issue so that the spirit of democracy and non-violence can be upheld.
With best regards
 Yours faithfully
 Bhai Vaidya (President)
Dr. Prem Singh (General Secretary)
Dr. Sandeep Pandey (Vice President)
Justice Rajindar Sachar (Senior Member)

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