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Rights bodies welcome move to repeal AFSPA in Manipur

The Manipur government has not made any official statement on the matter so far. 

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Imphal: The Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families Association, Manipur (EEVFAM) and Human Rights Alert (HRA) have welcomed a media report that Government of Manipur is likely to recommend revocation of the “disturbed area” status under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) soon.

The Manipur government has not made any official statement on the matter so far. The two organizations said in a joint statement issued here on Wednesday that EEFVAM and HRA have been spearheading a monumental legal battle seeking justice for the 1958 extrajudicial executions under the shadow of AFSPA. 

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It said while the much needed and long overdue issue of revocation of “disturbed area” status is discussed, it would be totally meaningless if decisions on the critical issues are left out from the agenda of any State Cabinet meeting.

The government should immediately issue pending prosecution sanctions against all the police personnel indicted by the CBI/SIT in pursuance EEVFAM v/s Union of India, SC WP (Cril) 129 of 
2012. Even though prosecution sanctions against the lower ranking police personnel were issued, those against the higher ranking police personnel were not issued till date, it was stated.

It further demanded that the state government should pursue with the Union of India to issue prosecution sanction against all the armed forces of the union found to be involved in the extrajudicially killing the innocent citizens of Manipur, whose prima facie evidence have been already submitted to the Chief Judicial Magistrates of various districts of Manipur following the investigation of the CBI/SIT in pursuance EEVFAM v/s Union of India, SC WP (Cril) 129 of 2012.

It also recommended the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958.If the government of Manipur takes a firm decision on the three issues the people of Manipur would be convinced of the Government’s commitment to uphold the human rights of the victims of AFSPA and not just another pre-poll political gimmick.

The controversial act, AFSPA came into focus after the alleged killings of civilians at Nagaland. Irom Sharmila of Manipur launched an unprecedented fast for 16 years demanding repeal of AFSPA from 5 Aug 2004 to 9 Aug 2016 after the Malom massacre during which 8 Assam Rifles personnel shot dead ten persons who were waiting for a bus in a bus shed at Malom, Imphal.

Manipur government withdrew AFSPA from the Greater Imphal area covering seven Assembly constituencies after the public uprising over the alleged rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama by personnel of 17 Assam Rifles .

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