TODAY -

Special Committees Vs Special Laws

Ravi Nitesh *

 Campaign against AFSPA :: 2011
Campaign against AFSPA in 2011 :: Pix - Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA Group (SDRAG)



President Pranab signed on documents pertaining to ordinance for women safety. Civil society, concerned citizens immediately registering their protest. Ordinance does not include all recommendations of Justice Verma Committee. Are we going to witness just another null and void importance of committees?

It is reported that this ordinance bypassed all vital recommendations of verma committee. Still I found it right to share following things as together we can demand for more again. We must also know that atlease getting recommendation of Verma panel will be in positive side for all as it gives a formal approval that demands of NE and J&K are genuine one.

Delhi witnessed a mass protest after a gangrape. People covered the road and thus blocked the government from doing anything else. Government acted, formed a committee Justice Verma Committee to list out recommendation to curb the crime against women. It was a step that was really necessary in view of the increasing rate of such crimes, fearless criminals and loopholes in law.

At the same time when people turned up for protest, many were there who supported this protest but also lodged and appealed for similar pain for all those who get raped, molested in far areas of Indian states. We saw photographs of Manorama from Manipur who get raped and killed by security personals. We saw posters of Soni Sori who get molested by police in Chhatisgrah. Soni Sori get arrested by police and on the name of torture, policemen inserted stones in her vagina. We saw posters of Ayesa and Nilofer who get raped and killed by security personals in Shopian, Kashmir.

All these stories and posters get the attention of many common people. Social media played a major role on this, people started debates and atleast get able to know the truth of these victims whose stories never shake common people of north india (mainland people). Apart from just sharing a story and getting able to know the facts, people connected themselves with it, with the pain.

Most importantly, common people who misunderstood the AFSPA , PSA, DAC and other special laws and took all those as anti nationalists, get the valid point to pay attention towards it. People who were only concerned to news of their neighborhood, who treated everyone as naxalite in Chhatisgrah and everyone as stone pelter, protester, terrorist in J&K; atleast came to know about the issues of people who are living there. For most of us, security personals are those who are disciplined, honest, truthful, justice loving people. But after knowing all these facts, at least some people started looking the things as third party, without being biased.

Now, during the suggestions from public and its drafting and making recommendation, justice verma committee, when now came with its recommendations, it told two important things , one : security personal in case of any allegations of such charges, should be treated under ordinary law and not under special laws provided to them. Second is that AFSPA must be reviewed.

In its recommendation Justice Verma Committee stated '"There is an imminent need to review the continuance of AFSPA and AFSPA-like legal protocols in internal conflict areas as soon as possible. This is necessary for determining the propriety of resorting to this legislation in the area(s) concerned."

The panel added '"At the outset, we notice that impunity for systematic or isolated sexual violence in the process of Internal Security duties is being legitimized by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which is in force in large parts of our country. It must be recognized that women in conflict areas are entitled to all the security and dignity that is afforded to citizens in any other part of our country."'

Though there are other recommendations regarding repeal / review of AFSPA in past as well, but because this panel's recommendation is really important as among the other panels of past who were formed by government in pressure of rights activist or people of victim regions, this panel can be called as people's panel that is formed by government only after people's pressure of all regions, specially of mainland India.

This recommendations are certainly a ray of hope to all silent and unnamed victims who are living in such areas. Though, AFSPA must be repealed, but at least Justice Verma recommended its review, that reflect the need and that tells and proves the violations of rights and duties by security personals in the shield of special laws.

Now, it is again in the court of future if government will pay attention towards it but it is also true that even if government will not, public movement will move forward with all its hope and courage against these laws.

We also hope that all those who till now, never felt and understood the pain of people living in militarized areas, or all those who could not raised voice against the violations, all those who were silent when women get raped and killed in Kashmir, North East and Chhatisgarh; will come to know and to support the pain of humanity. We hope that pain will get the relief, by the law, by the humanity, by the people and government.


* Ravi Nitesh (Founder - Mission Bhartiyam) wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at ravinitesh(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on February 05 2013 .



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