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An Appeal

Support Irom Sharmila and PRJA candidates

Irom Sharmila and PRJA candidates are fighting in the forthcoming assembly election in Manipur with a mission to repeal Armed Forces Special Power Act, AFSPA from Manipur state, which has been imposed there since 1958. The Jeevan Reddy Committee to Review the AFSPA concluded after its hearings in 2004-05, that the Act had become ‘a symbol of oppression, an object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high-handedness’. Still the Union Government denied to act according to the observation of Jeevan Reddy Committee. In connection with a 2012 petition filed by the Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families we found another set of recommendations in the Report of the Supreme Court appointed Commission of 2013. It recommended (clause 5.4) ‘AFSPA or UAPA apart, it is necessary for Manipur to come back to normalcy as soon as possible. There are strong indications that people by and large have had more than enough of strife and violence. Civil Society in the state not only has a palpable presence but has raised the level of social consciousness well above the average in the country. It is time therefore to progressively de-notify more areas of the state under section 3 of AFSPA. The progressive withdrawal of Section 144 CrPc will accompany the de-notification.’ And recently in 2016, the Supreme Court concluded in its Judgment that ‘the use of excessive force or retaliatory force by the Manipur Police or the armed forces of the Union is not permissible. … this principle would apply even in an area declared as a disturbed area under AFSPA and against militants, insurgents and terrorists.’ This judgment has implications for other disturbed areas as Chhattisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir.

In this context we appeal to all citizens of our country to voice support for PRJA candidates in the forthcoming election and strengthen their fight to repeal AFSPA which is a gross violation of human rights of the people of our country --- particularly the rights of the people who are already marginalised.   

Feb 27, 2017