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'AFSPA has tarnished the image of democracy'
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 13 2011: "Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has not only belittled the meaning of democracy, but also tarnished its image, and there can be no social justice, if there is crisis in the democracy", Editor of Hueiyen Lanpao (Meeteilon in Meetei Mayek) Shivaduta Luwang observed while speaking in a state level seminar on the theme of AFSPA at Manipur Press Club here today.

Participating in the seminar on social justice organized by Popular Front of India, Manipur state as one of the presidium members, Shivadutta pointed out that India may be regarded as the largest democratic country in the world but the people have been made to suffer with imposition of many draconian Acts like AFSPA.

The Jeevan Reddy Commission, which was instituted by the government of India to review AFSPA, had recommended scrapping of the Act, but it still remains.

Shivadutta contended that except for sporadic incidents of hurling bombs and firing attacks at private houses, no major violent incidents have taken place in the valley areas of Manipur at present while in the hills; the UG groups have either entered peace talks or signed Suspension of Operation (SoO).

On the other hand, top Army officials have also maintained that peace and normalcy have started returning in Manipur.

In such a situation, it is unreasonable to continue with the imposition of 'Disturbed Area' status in Manipur.



Resource persons of a seminar on social justice organized by Popular Front of India, Manipur
Resource persons of a seminar on social justice organized by Popular Front of India, Manipur


Shivadutta further observed that there will be crisis in the democracy when there is no co-ordination between the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive and if there such a crisis, there can be no social justice.

Unfortunately, there have been instances of Legislature exercising power in excess in most states of India so much so that we keep hearing about the arrest of even police officers.

The situation is no different in Manipur where Legislator even beat up people, he added.

National Executive Member of Popular Front of India Prof P Koya hailed the courage and will-power of Irom Chanu Sharmila who is on fast for more than 11 years demanding repeal of AFSPA, which empowers even a non-commissioned officer can open fire on mere suspicion.

Prolonged imposition of AFSPA in North East including Manipur and Jammu & Kashmir has claimed lives of many innocent civilians and the people have been subjected to various atrocities rapes.

The hardships being faced by the people of Manipur under AFSPA are no different from that of the people in Jammu & Kashmir.

People in Jammu & Kashmir need to know that is happening in Manipur and vice-versa, Prof Koya observed.

He pointed out that contrary to the claim of the Indian leaders that the country has been moving head in the path of development; more than 70 percent of the population is living below poverty line.

Convenor of Sharmila Kanba Lup Ima Janaki observed that to save Sharmila is to save humanity and called for boycotting the upcoming election to the 19th Manipur Legislative Assembly if the government as well as other political parties could not give their commitment in removing AFSPA.

Lecturer of Lilong Haoreibi College, Dr Shahid Ahamed pointed out that Muslim community in Manipur is lagging behind other communities in various fields.

In this context, the efforts being made by the Popular front of India towards equitable distribution of wealth and development is laudable.

Former Member of Manipur Human Rights Commission Ng Nongyai and President of Popular Front of India, Manipur state Mukti Arshad Hussain were also present and spoke at the seminar as presidium members.


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