Campaign to support Irom Sharmila's 11 year long Hunger-strike at New Delhi
- Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA (Group) -

05 November 2011:

Campaign to support Irom Sharmila's 11 year long Hunger-strike at New Delhi on Nov 5 2011
Campaign to support Irom Sharmila's 11 year long Hunger-strike at New Delhi on Nov 5 2011

Office of the Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA (GROUP)
New Delhi
Venue: Jantar Mantar, New Delhi
Dated: 5th Nov. 2011 Time: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA group and many other civil society organizations/people appeal to the Government of India to repeal the Armed forces Special Powers Act.

Today’s one day fast and demonstration across several cities of India and in other countries such as North America has been organized as part of the 53 years long people’s struggle against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and in support of the world longest hunger strike by Irom Sharmila by completing 11 years to repeal this most draconian, inhuman, undemocratic, black law AFSPA.

SDRAG and the civil society strongly condemn the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the failure of the government to address the issue of revoking the act. Despite repeated attempts by the people to convince the government of the undesireous nature of the act and also the recommendation of the Jeevan Reddy commission, a committee set up by the government itself to assess the status of AFSPA, the Government of India has not moved its position.

The Malom incident in 2000, Oinam operation tragedy in Manipur, self-immolation of student Chittaranjan in 2005, naked protest of The Mothers outside Kangla Fort against rape and murder of Manorma Devi and many other such strong gestures by the people have been strong reminders to the government of India that AFSPA has been torturous and is not living to the morality that had been decided for it. Even till date, O. Ibobi CM Maniur made a statement that AFSPA is a must to counter foreign militants and the fear of raising more anit-militant groups is AFSPA is repealed. Today’s program seriously condemns this statement and the lack of sensitive insight on behalf of the government.

Similar suppressive acts such as POTA and TADA were repealed because people in India stood strongly against the act. AFSPA which is still worse in its character is still in the status books of the constitution of India because people of the nation have been in silent. They have accepted this oppression as a part of their lives and have gotten normalized to it. Time has come to break this conspiracy of silence.

Today's event at Delhi saw a large turn-over of people from all walks of life. Students from reputed schools and universities of Delhi, professor and teachers from the same institutions, lawyers, and advocates from the highest judicial courts in the country, the Supreme Court, and many other activists who have been fighting this war to instate democracy in all states of India, expressed their solidarity to the campaign.

Young-adult boys & girls from highly reputed schools of Delhi such as the Blubells School international present for the program showed a keen interest in the campaign activities, understanding Indian politics and asking mind-racking questions which even the politicians of India would falter if asked to answer.

A soul-touching and thought-provoking play “Manchtantra” on the shame AFSPA has made of the democracy in India by a theater group from Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce also a part of the Save Democracy Repeal AFSA group brought tears to the eyes all.

Senior government official and ex-bureaucrat Kuldeep Nayar spoke strongly against the act. He expressed his kind concern for Samrila and asked the people of the country to support the cause having AFSPA repealed.

Senior HR activists Harsh Mander and Gautam Navlakha incisively explained the nuances of the act, the politics being played behind it and in a strongly-worded statement asked the people of the nation to quit their indifference and rise to this cause of the fight against AFSPA.

Senior history professor Uma Chakravarti from Miranda House spent some time in explaining the path this act had followed during the course of modern-day history in India. She also talked sensitively about Sharmila's mother who has not met her daughter since the last 11 yrs and the desire she has of seeing her daughter freed from the shackles of this oppressive government policy by having AFSPA repealed.

Author Deepti Priya talked passionately about her experience with sharmila and applauded the efforts of the people of India who had pledged the one-day fast across the nation. She also requested people to consider filing an RTI to allow Sharmila to have more visitors and not be kept in continuous solitary confinement.

Other active supporters of the cause included Mazhar Hussain, convener of COVA, Senior social science faculty Nandini Sundar from Delhi School of economics and Vani from Saheli Women’s organization, Dr Mrigank from Naujavan Bharath Sabha, Birju Nayak from Lok Raj Sagthan, Birju Rekha Samom and Sanamaya from Manpiur Students Association Delhi. They pledged their support to work for the cause of having AFSPA revoked.

The day ended with the chanting of slogans and songs of patriotism led by Vani from Saheli group and many other women activists. And the final event of the day was the release of hundreds of balloons with the tag line "LIFT AFSPA" re-sounding our cause loudly of "Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA-stop war against humanity"!!!

Fast & demonstration organized in North America, Bangalore, Karnataka, Banaras, Allahabad Uttar Pradesh, Bhubhaneshwar, Orissa, Rajasthan, Kolkatta & Medinapur, West Bengal, Imphal, Manipur, Tripura, Nogaon, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Tejpur in Assam, Himachal Pradesh Chandigarh, Punjab, Alepy, Kerala, Varodha, Gujarat, Pune, Maharastra and Bihar,

Organized by Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA group along with
Manipur Students Association Delhi,
Just Peace Foundation,
Yuva Bharath,
Women against Sexual Violence and Repression,
Manipur Meitei Association, Bangalore,
Tripura Manipuri Students Union,
Janata Praja Shamiti,
Rural Welfare Society,
All India Students Forum,
All India Students Association,
Medinipuro Lodha Sabro Kalyan Samiti,
Lok Raj Sangathan, and
Manipur Women Gun Survivor's Network,
Manipuri Students’ Union of Varodha,
Manipur Student Association Chandigarh.

See the entire photo gallery here

* This Press Release was sent by Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA group
The sender (Bruce K. Thangkhal) can be contacted at savedemocracy(dot)repealafspa(at)gmail(dot)com
This PR was webcasted on November 05 2011 .

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