Hueiyen Lanpao "Sending armed forces among civilians not right: Dr Meinya"

Imphal, Aug 18: Marking the 55 years of imposing Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), 1958, Just Peace Foundation in collaboration with Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights in Manipur and The UN released a book entitled, ‘Manipur: Memorandum on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions’ at Imphal Hotel’s Banquet Hall here on Saturday.

At the function, human rights activists and members of civil society organizations unanimously adopted two resolutions. Firstly, ‘to request all the Members of the Parliament from the regions and States affected by AFSPA to unitedly make every effort with urgency in order to ensure that this Act is repealed,’ and secondly, ‘to request civil society organizations and movements in the AFSPA affected regions and States and the rest of the India to increase efforts to urge the government of India to repeal the Act during the present session of Parliament.’

Dr T Meinya Singh, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), who attended the function as Chief Guest, said that armed forces are specially trained to fight enemy, however, sending them among the civilians under the guise of controlling insurgency is not right. Referring to the assurance of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to amend AFSPA and make it more humane, Dr  Meinya said that  the Prime Minister and his Cabinet is very much concern about the draconian aspect of the Act. Commission reports of former Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily and Vice President Hamid Ansari too have recommended repealing of AFSPA. However, in a democratic set up, revocation or make changes to a law is a long process and it takes time.

Further, Dr Meinya observed that in order to expedite the process of revoking AFSPA, every citizen has to empower themselves first and all the people affected by the Act should come up with a single voice to repeal it. Delivering the key note address, human rights activist Babloo Loitongbam recalled that when AFSPA was introduced as a Bill for the first time in Lok Sabha on 18th August, 1958, the then Home Minister G B Pant justified the Bill stating, “state government can use the army only for limited purpose,”. But today it has been transformed into “unlimited purpose” as the Army aggressively embarks on their mission to win the heart and mind of the people in the disturbed areas.In Manipur we are witnessing that the military has transgressed its usual leveling of football grounds or organizing medical camps and now entered almost every academic seminars and even in Lai Haraoba festivals through its military civic action programs.

Appealing to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues to pause for a moment and have a serious introspection on the issue, Babloo said that repealing AFSPA will put India in a good stead as a credible democracy amongst the comity of nations and it will also help to recover some of the lost faith and confidence of the North East people and Kashmir to the democratic processes of the country.

Participating in the panel discussion, Senior Advocate, Khaidem Mani said that due to the presence of AFSPA, Indian democracy is turning towards a “Colonial Democracy.” It also indirectly helps to upsurge insurgency movement in the AFSPA affected states.
If the Indian government wants to continue its colonial democracy, then AFSPA can be continued, and if the government wants  the active participation of Manipur and other North East people, then the black law should be repealed immediately, he added. Another panelist and President of Senior Citizen for Society, Ningthoujam Binoy questioned the interest of the three MPs from the state with regard to the current movement for removing AFSPA.

During the panel discussion, retired Session Court Judge, C Upendra also said that in order to repeal the Act, all the civil society organizations and human rights activist in the AFSPA affected regions should come together as one. Retired Colonel T Hemo Singh; Convenor of Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and The UN Dr Debabrata Roy; Advisor IPSA  H Ibotombi; Lokendra Arambam; Managing Trustee of Just Peace Foundation Kh Anandi were among others who also participated in the panel discussion.

The Sangai Express "1528 people killed in fake encounters: Report"

IMPHAL, Aug 18 : Altogether 1528 people including 31 wo-men and 98 children were killed in fake encounters by security forces in Manipur between 1979 and May, 2012.

Of these, 419 were killed by Assam Rifles while 481 were killed by combined teams of Manipur Police and central security forces.

These figures were clearly recorded in a report released today at Hotel Imphal at a function held in commemoration of August 18, 1958 when the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was passed in the Indian Parliament.

The commemorative function was jointly organised by the Just Peace Foundation and the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the UN.

The report titled ‘Manipur: Memorandum on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Execu-tions’ mentioned that State forces excluding central forces killed 344 people between 1979 and 2012.

Out of the 344 people, 40 were killed by Manipur Police Commandos, 90 by Imphal East Commandos, 132 by Imphal West commandos, 15 by Bishnupur Commandos and 67 by Thoubal Commandos.

Speaking at the occasion, Civil Society Coalition on Hu-man Rights in Manipur and the UN convenor Debabrata Roy Laifungbam said that the report was published after minute analysis and cross-checking by different human right organisations.

The report was published after making some additions to the memorandum submitted to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Christof Heyns during his visit to India between March 19 and 30 this year.

After releasing the report, MP Dr T Meinya reminded that the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee constituted by the Government of India itself has already agreed that AFSPA ne-gated the very spirit and principles of democracy.

Recalling that Prime Minis-ter Dr Manmohan Singh once assured to make the military Act more humane, Dr Meinya maintained that AFSPA would be certainly given a humane face even if it takes time.

The function also figured a panel discussion programme with Lokendra Arambam as moderator. One panellist said that it is not only the army and the politicians but many civil organisations based in main-land India are opposed to repealing AFSPA because they do not have faith in the people of North East region.

They can never treat the people of India as equal citizens of India.

The army too are victims of AFSPA for they are empowered by the draconian Act to commit all kinds of crimes and extrajudicial killings with full impunity, thereby rousing communal tendency, remarked the scholar.

Almost all the panelists agreed that AFSPA should be repealed.

Later, a resolution adopted appeal to all the MPs of North Eastern States, States affected by AFSPA and all civil society organisations of the country to work collectively so that the Parliament passes a resolution during the ongoing session to the effect that AFSPA is scrapped totally.

19-Aug-2012 / 03:49 AM / Headlines / Our Staff Reporter / http://www.thesangaiexpress.com/sangai-express-news.php?newsid=18451

CSCHR Media Brief on second UPR of India

CSCHR emphasises that this is the first time that the issue of AFSPA has reached the political arena of the UN debate in a significant way. The recommendation to repeal AFSPA 1958 or review in accordance with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has now reached the level of the UN Human Rights Council finally.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE PRESS RELEASE

CSCHR_UPR Media Briefing Note-India_2june2012

Indigenous Meitei boy summarily killed by Manipur Police

(Family of late Ahanthem Amujao at their home in Manipur in Sawombung; his mother is seated on the left with his youngest sister Sonia and his aunt Ito who filed the police complaint is standing at the doorway; his grandmother is seated far right/photo: CORE)

Ahanthem Amujao also called Suranjoy, a sixteen year old boy, from Sawombung Gate Maning Leikai was reportedly shot dead in an ‘encounter’ with Manipur Police Commandos at Khuman Palli, Imphal West District at the outskirts of Imphal City on January 29, 2012. The police had informed that Amujao was killed in an encounter between a team of Imphal West Commandos and three UGs at Khuman Lampak Palli on January 29 and that two of Amujao’s accomplices had escaped while he was gunned down at the spot. The police had never disclosed to which UG (‘underground’, a popular acronym for non-state armed groups operating in Manipur) organisation Amujao belongs nor has the exact location of the ‘encounter’ been identified by an inquest.

Amujao’s family and neighbours of his locality (Leikai) claimed that it was a ‘fake encounter’ since the body of the deceased bore marks of torture as his rights arm and left hand were twisted and badly fractured. Autopsy was carried out on the 31 January, 2012 at RIMS, Lamphelpat but the report has been denied to the family.

Amujao comes from an extremely poor family, and he had to drop out of school after Class V because his parents could no longer afford to pay his school-fees. He is the eldest of the six children of Basanta and Tampha. He began to work as a daily wage unskilled labourer two years ago to help his family, and at the time of his death he was a mason’s assistant. According to his mother, Amujao used to support his younger siblings.

Amujao’s aunty, Ito, filed a complaint to the Director General of Police (Manipur) on 3rd April 2012 with copies to the Minister of Home Affairs, the Chief Secretary, Govt of Manipur. Another complaint was filed by the Convenor of CSCHR to the Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), New Delhi and the Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), New Delhi.

Following the complaint, nothing has been done by the Government regarding the unnatural and sudden death of (L) Ahanthem Amujao. The NCPCR wrote a letter to the government of Manipur inquiring into the complaint received but did not get a reply. Taking the matter as very serious, the Commission decided to conduct an investigation.

The five-member NCPCR team led by the Chairperson, Prof. Shantha Sinha visited the State from 18-20 May, 2012 to investigate into the matter.

Click the link below to see “Commandos scalp UG suspect” (Sangai Express/January 29, 2012)

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Click the link below to read “Sawombung locals contradict police claim of encounter death” (Sangai Express/January,31, 2012)

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Click the link below to see the Imphal Free Press Headlines (May 21, 2012)/NCPCR meets CM, HM

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