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IMPHAL, October 8 (IFP): Volunteers and activists of the Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign had met anti-AFSPA crusader Irom Chanu Sharmila during her court appearances in New Delhi on October 6 and 7, informed a statement of the campaign.
It said Sharmila appeared in the Delhi Court on October 6 and 7 in connection to the 2006 Jantar Mantar Case wherein Delhi Police lodged a case against her under section 309 (attempt to suicide).
It said during the hearing, she reiterated the truth that she is not committing suicide.
“She is not taking life; instead she is appealing to protect the right to life. In the hearing, she also reiterated the undemocratic and draconian effects of AFSPA and appealed for its repeal.”
It said SSSC volunteers met her during her court appearance.
It said the SSSC considers these hearings as a way of suppression of voices of human rights.
Everybody knows that fast of Irom sharmila is for a public cause, yet lodging her in jail with the reason of attempt to suicide, is a judicial failure and disrespect of human rights of world’s largest democracy, it said.
As Irom Sharmila also said in her statement, that at a time when India is advocating to ensure permanent seat in the UN, continuing with laws like AFSPA is extreme contradiction, it said.
Ravi Nitesh, convener of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign said that if India is really serious to be known at global level with powers to take part in policy making and advisory for global issues through UN, it must have first and primary requirement of respecting human rights.
“SSSC supports Irom Sharmila in all her endeavor and struggle.”
It is known through reports of government-appointed committees and national and international human rights’ organisations that AFSPA is discriminatory and a kind of unconstitutional and harsh act that provides extraordinary powers to security forces in disturbed regions, without asking for any accountability, the statement continued.
These unstopped uses of powers by security forces have been used in serious situations of violations of human rights. By this act, security forces start behaving like criminals who have unchecked powers and accountability, it said.
SSSC also advocates for its repeal from all areas, and that the campaign keeps its faith upon the non-violence struggle of Irom Sharmila and considers her as its leader, it said.
Stating that it has worked nationwide in the past years to highlight Sharmila’s struggle and organised numerous events, public demonstrations and other activities in almost all States of India and in few other countries to advocate Repeal of AFSPA from all regions, including state of North East Region and of J&K, it said SSSC believes that its struggle is against State repression that anyone can see through AFSPA that is imposed in J&K and states of North east region, and therefore the struggle will continue against all human rights violations by security forces in these regions.
“There have been many incidents of brutal mass-rapes that have been reported in past and justice still eludes the victims. This has been proved not only by human rights’ organisations but also by government-appointed committees.”
We demand with the government to immediately pay attention towards AFSPA repeal. Keeping AFSPA in Manipur and in J&K is against the will and future of State, it said.
“We demand with state and central government both to coordinate and cooperate with each other to end the impasse over AFSPA. For Manipur, state leadership of central ruled party was already promised repeal of AFSPA.”
“A human rights violation is always a violation of human rights regardless of region. In J&K, so many incidents of killings, rapes and disappeances have already been reported and evidences were provided even before courts against many security officials, but due to impunity under AFSPA (section 7), nothing could be done against culprits.”
SSSC also see that enjoying such an impunity that AFSPA provides is actually a corruption and it is absolutely not required for any responsible, honest and committed security force personals. In contrary, it becomes dangerous as such absolute powers divert the normal way of working of personnel, it said.
The demand to repeal AFSPA is not only at national level but also at a global level with international human rights’ organisations and activists advocating for it. At this time when India is being honored globally, this undemocratic and inhuman act is also working to tarnish this image, it said.
SSSC will continue its efforts and will be organising protests and active campaigning in coming months for advocating Repeal of AFSPA from everywhere, it said.