TODAY -

Oinam's silver non jubilee and a book

Morung Express | Review by Aheli Moitra

In this part of the world, however, nothing changed. In 1987, a witness had seen (then Brig.) BN Singh and (then Commanding Officer, Lt. Col.) CP Singh of the (then) 21 Assam Rifles burn to death a Poumai Naga man, hung upside down over fire in Oinam village in the Senapati district of Manipur. This is normal in India—the concerned officers went on with their careers. In 1997, the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of the “largest democracy in the world” upheld the constitutional validity of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA!); in 2010, State violence went on as it was, oblivious to the Spring.

Nandita Haksar and Sebastian Hongray’s book, “The Judgment That Never Came: Army Rule in North East India”, published by Chicken Neck (which seems to have published books only by Haksar since its inception in 2011) presents a detailed judicial cross section of the Oinam case.

Oinam is exemplary of the larger policy adopted by the Indian state towards people living in “disturbed areas” of the North East region, over many decades. The attitude flows into Dantewada today.

They highlight the genesis of petitions, and their subsequent failure, challenging the constitutional validity of AFSPA, traversing through other instances (like Operation Bajrang) that debase the entire discourse on rights.



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* This Post is uploaded on April 25, 2012

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