India: Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign-Repeal AFSPA Now
October 10, 2014, 8:31 am
Campaign against Draconian Act (AFSPA) in North East India. Save Irom Sharmila Chanu. Repeal AFSPA Now! Sign the petition here:
Call for solidarity and support to struggles working against AFSPA Armed Forces Special Powers Act, a colonial legacy used against Mahatma Gandhi. It was promulgated initially in the Naga areas of Assam (later divided between 4 states) and later in Mizoram, initially in parts of Manipur and later in all of Manipur. The Ordinance, after a brief discussion in Parliament, was endorsed and got the status of Act on August 18, 1958, despite stiff resistance from various quarters who challenged it as a martial and draconian law. Since then it has been in force in one part or the other of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir (since 1991).
Even though continuation of the ‘disturbed area’ status under the AFSPA in many parts of the country is illegal in view of the violation of the mandatory six monthly periodic review directed by the Supreme Court in its 1997 Judgement, AFSPA continues to be the most potent repressive tool of the Indian state that empowers even a non commissioned officer of the armed forces of union to kill on mere suspicion and provide legal immunity from prosecution, thereby causing untold misery and agony among the peoples of the affected regions.
The imposition of AFSPA is synonymous with heavy militarisation in these states leading to gross civil and political rights violations including enforced disappearances, extra-judicial execution, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, rape and other forms of sexual violence against women, arbitrary arrest and detention. In the pretext of controlling insurgency, this Act has only intensified the insurgency in the region and legitimised thousands of gross human rights violations like rape, torture, murder and “disappearances” of innocent people in the North East and J&K. The democratic movements in the North East and J&K have consistently demanded the repeal of the Act and demilitarisation for decades.
People’s movements all across North-East and J and K and other parts of India have been struggling for repeal of this draconian Act. Relentless struggle for the past decade by Manipur people’s movement led by Irom Sharmila is one of the struggles known to us. There are many more struggles on this issue. In solidarity and support against Armed Forces Special Power Act various programmes and action are being held across states of India under the banner of Irom Sharmila Solidairy Campaign.