TODAY -

Meet blames AFSPA for people's woes
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 29 2012: Along with highlighting number of ongoing excesses committed by security forces against the civilian population, a one-day discussion on 'Human Rights & Conflict Situation in Manipur' organised by United People's Front culminated with a six-point recommendation towards finding an amicable solution to various issues gripping the North East region in general, and Manipur in particular.

The discussion session was held at Manipur Press Club today with social activist Dhanabir Laishram as the moderator and representatives of various civil society organisations and human rights campaigners deliberating on diverse issues related to human rights.

As resource persons, UPF president BM Yaima Shah, human rights activist advocate Gunadhor, Life Watch chief administrator advocate Angomcha Araba, social activist RK Ranendrajit and North East human Rights Defenders' committee convenor Jinine Laishramcha were unanimous in citing continued imposition of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 for the miseries besetting people of the region.

While the region continues to suffer from atrocities committed by the security force under the immunity granted by the Act the situation is most grievous in Manipur, they mooted and strongly advocated removal of the said Act and other similar suppressive legislation and agencies to ensure protection of human rights.

Noting multi-faceted dimension of the existing conflict situation in Manipur and North East india consequent to the ongoing conflict between the Government of India and numerous political-armed organisations, they also expressed grave concern on the conflict among various ethnic armed groups and ethnic peoples.

Describing the prevailing situation as a great challenge for the people of Manipur and the region, the speakers construed that effects of the conflict in the form of human rights violations remaining unattended subsequently poses threat to life, liberty and dignity of the citizens.

Affirming that without finding a viable solution to the problems it would be futile to expect restoration of normalcy in the region, they strongly recommended initiation of confidence building measures (CBM) to facilitate return of peace in the region.

As a part of the CBMs, the discussion session proposed repealing of AFSPA 1958 and scrapping of other legislation that would obstruct process of conflict resolution.

It was pointed out that existence and activities of National investigation Agency, imposition of national Security Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act would hamper conflict resolution processes.

The other recommendation include demilitarisation of Manipur by withdrawing military forces; extend proper and fair accomplishment of justice to the political prisoners by taking into account international legal instruments and undo the secret detention complication; encourage judicial activities and effective and independent inquiries for the human rights incident in order to deliver fair justice to the victims and their families.

Suggestions for exercising favourable mechanisms and encourage armed organisations, civil societies and communities towards maintenance of communal harmony and peaceful atmosphere in manipur and North East, and facilitating debate on the issue of alternative political arrangement for the Indo-Naga dialogue along with consultation and consensus of the people of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland on the said issue were other recommendations of the discussion session.


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