In India’s remote northeast, civilians challenge rape, killing by security forces #Vaw #AFSPA


Simon Denyer/The Washington Post – Irom Sharmila arrives for a fortnightly court appearance, flanked by two police officers, in the northeastern Indian city of Imphal on Feb. 7, 2013. Sharmila began a hunger strike in 2000 to protest against a controversial law that grants the Indian army virtual impunity from prosecution.

By Published: February 19

IMPHAL, India

Manipur, with a population of little more than 2 million, is tiny by Indian standards, and the country’s economic development of the past two decades has largely passed it by. Most of its residents are Hindus but are of Tibet-Burman origin and are thought to look more Burmese than Indian; they feel their countrymen look down on them. An armed separatist rebellion began here in the 1960s and has led to about 20,000 deaths.

For 12 years, a Manipuri woman, Irom Sharmila, has been on a hunger strike against the armed forces act. Having been convicted in court of intent to take her own life, she is under police guard in a hospital and force-fed through her nose.

Last week, Sharmila, 40, emerged from the hospital for a biweekly appearance in court, and, in an interview outside the courtroom, while being flanked by two female police officers, Sharmila said she was not optimistic that the government would relent any time soon.

The formation of committees is a tactic to deflect public anger, she said in halting English, and the people of Manipur are not given the respect accorded to other Indians.

“They treat us like stepchildren,” she said before police whisked her away.

Across town, 37-year-old Neena Ningombam has cared for her two children alone since her husband was taken away by police in November 2008. A few hours later his body, with a hand grenade planted next to it, was shown on television, supposedly that of a rebel killed after attacking the police.

In one sense, Ningombam is lucky. Witnesses saw her husband being arrested, and they have not been intimidated into silence. A local magistrate who investigated the case found that her husband had never been involved in a militant group and that he was killed in what is known here as a “fake encounter.”

Babloo Loitongbam of Human Rights Alert, a local rights group that has documented the alleged rapes and extrajudicial executions, said members of the security forces who kill militants are rewarded with cash, medals and promotions.

“An incentive structure has created vested interests in the army and police just to kill people on the flimsiest charges,” he said, “while the judicial process has completely failed.”

With Loitongbam’s help, the widows of Manipur are fighting back. Responding to a petitionthey have filed, the Supreme Court appointed a respected three-
person team last month to look into the alleged extrajudicial executions. Yet another committee of inquiry, it could nevertheless put more pressure on the government to roll back what residents describe as a cloak of impunity shrouding events in Manipur.

Like the other widows of Manipur, Ningombam continues her legal battle to clear her husband’s name.

In an opinion piece last week, Hazarika, the member of the 2005 commission and an expert on northeastern India, called the law an “abomination.”

“How many more deaths, how many more naked protests, how many more hunger strikes, how many more committees, how many more editorials and articles and broadcasts before AFSPA goes?” he asked.

 

#India -Manipur policeman found guilty in fake encounter got medal on Republic Day #WTFnews


Esha Roy : Imphal, Tue Feb 12 2013, IE

A Manipuri policeman implicated in a fake encounter in Imphal was among nine police personnel from the state awarded the President’s police medal for gallantry on the occasion of Republic Day last month.

The havildar rank policeman, N Nungshibabu Singh, and three others were found guilty by a judicial inquiry in 2010. But they are yet to be punished.

Two cousins, Mutum Rajen Singh and Mutum Herojit Singh, were killed in the alleged encounter in October 2008. Rajen ran a ‘rice hotel’ in Imphal West district with the help of his wife Ibecha Devi, and the couple had a four-year-old son.

According to Ibecha Devi’s testimony in court, in the afternoon of October 14, 2008, Herojit took Rajen with him on his scooter to supervise the editing of a video of his son’s Nahutpa (ritual performance of wearing earrings) ceremony at a studio in Chingmeirong colony. They are said to have stayed at the studio until 5 pm.

Later that night, Devi was told by relatives that a local TV news channel was reporting that her husband and his cousin had been killed in Lambui Lambi in Imphal East district by a team of Manipuri commandos. Attempts by Herojit’s father to file a police complaint the next day were unsuccessful, and his letter to the DGP also did not elicit an immediate response.

Authorities said that according to a report filed by sub-inspector of the Manipur commandos, P Achouba Meitei, about half a dozen unidentified armed youth opened fire at the commandos while they were patrolling along the Lambui Lambi road. The youths allegedly escaped on their two-wheelers. The commandos pursued them and retaliated, leading to a gunfight.

Two men riding a scooter were shot dead, while the others fled under the cover of darkness. In the inquiry report, the state government said that Meitei and rifleman Nungshibabu shot one of the men, two other commandos pursued the other man who was fleeing and shot him down as well.

The police claimed they had recovered papers of the banned insurgent group KCP-MC, signed by its commander-in-chief L Khuman, a 9 mm pistol loaded with three rounds and an M 20 pistol from the duo.

But Herojit’s father M Kumar Singh claimed in court that the two were actually picked up from outside LMS Law college and then taken to Lambui road where they were later killed.

A witness, Gurumayum Premjit Singh, told the court that he saw the two cousins speaking to the commandos on Lambui road. He stopped to see what was happening but was waved on by the commandos. A few minutes later, he heard gunshots from the direction of the commandos, he said.

The judicial inquiry said the Manipuri commandos “are contradictory in explaining the circumstances in killing of Mutum Rajen Singh on 14-10-2008. The respondents have failed to establish that there was an exchange of firing”.

“Therefore, I have decided that the husband of the petitioner, namely Mutum Rajen Singh, was killed by the personnel of Manipur Police commandos, Imphal East Unit on 14-10-08 at about 6.30 pm after having (him) in their custody, in a fake encounter at Lambui Lambi Porompat, Imphal East District. I have also decided that there was no exchange of firing or encounter with the Manipur police commandos,” district judge M Manojkumar Singh said.

In the past, human rights activists have alleged that gallantry awards may be one of the reasons for the high number of encounters in Manipur, saying such awards ensure promotions and more pay.

DGP Y Joykumar Singh told The Indian Express that he was not privy to the judicial inquiry report. “It must have been a preliminary inquiry and I am not aware of this case. Of course there is a panel and possible recepients are verified at two levels before the list is sent to the Home Ministry. I cannot comment on this particular case,” he said.

 

Manipur actor assault: Journalist killed in police firing during violent protests


Manipur, Posted on Dec 23, 2012 a

 

Imphal: A video journalist was shot dead when the police opened fire during violent protests against the alleged molestation of an actress in Imphal. The police opened fire when protesters tried to torch a police bus. The journalist took two bullets, including one in the chest.

The actress had alleged she was assaulted by an NSCN-IM worker while hosting a cultural event. She had said the security personnel present at the spot just stood by and watched. Violent protests erupted in the city with police bursting tear gas shell to disperse angry crowds while film and theatre artistes called for a bandh protesting against the alleged assault.

Protesters in the strike, which was called by the Manipur Film Forum, also pelted stones and vehicles and damaged a police van in Imphal. There were scenes of tyre burning and road blocking across the state’s capital. Life in Manipur has been crippled with shops, markets, business and entertainment houses closed and transport services cancelled.

 

Manipur- No country for ‘outsiders’


The Telegraph
Wednesday , November 7 , 2012
Image
home rule: Many Manipuris feel the ILPS will protect their interests

Ramji was barely 14 when he landed in Imphal looking for employment. Originally from Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, Ramji, now 44, initially worked as a daily wage earner before starting his own cement shop in 1997. But he may have to wind up his business and go back to his village.

That’s because the Manipur government wants to introduce the Inner Line Permit System (ILPS), a mechanism which allows people from other states to stay in Manipur for a limited period of time and that too with a permit. In July this year, the Manipur Assembly passed a resolution to that effect unanimously.

The ILPS comes under the purview of a central law ‘ the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873, legislation introduced by the British to control business in what was then called the Bengal Eastern Frontier. An Inner Line Permit (ILP) is also required by people from other states when they go to Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland (except Dimapur). The permit allows them to stay in the state for a period of 15 days to six months. The measure was introduced in a bid to protect the interests of the tribal communities in the region.

But the Union home ministry has rejected Manipur’s proposal to extend the ILPS to the state. In September, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said, “Our Constitution will not allow such things.” A senior home ministry official adds, “There is no rationale for the state to seek restrictions on the entry of Indians under an outdated law.”

But locals allege that “outsiders” are marginalising the natives. “People are being robbed of land and employment by the settlers. We cannot let this continue any longer,” says Mutum Churamani Meetei, co-convener of the Joint Action Committee (JAC), a collective of 20 non-political groups advocating the ILPS.

There are about 9 lakh Mayangs or “outsiders” in Manipur out of a total population of roughly 27 lakh. Mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, they work as construction workers, carpenters and porters. There are also other communities such as Punjabis, Gujaratis and Marwaris, who have been settled in Manipur since the early 20th century and run businesses in hardware, cement, marble and so on.

The introduction of the ILPS would spell doom for people like Ramji. “Last year, around 25 Bihari labourers left in fear. But we will continue to stay,” says Ramji, who lives in Imphal with his wife and three children and earns about Rs 5,000 a month.

Although the Manipur government is in favour of slapping on the ILPS, constitutional experts say that according to Article 19(1)(d) and (e) of the Constitution, every Indian citizen has the right to move freely throughout the territory of India and also to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.

A senior state government official also points out it’s the Centre that has to give the go-ahead for the ILPS. “We cannot implement the ILPS unless the Centre gives its nod.”

Not so, says advocate Khaidem Mani, stressing that the state is legally empowered to make its own laws without seeking the permission of the Centre. “Article 19(5) of the Constitution states that nothing shall prevent the State from making any law with reasonable restrictions in the interests of the general public,” he says.

But constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap says that “State” should be read as Union of India, and not as a state legislature. Mani has a counter-argument. He says, “Under Article 12 in the Constitution, ‘State’ also means the government and the legislature of each of the states.”

While the debate rages, Kashyap warns that President’s rule can be imposed on Manipur if it doesn’t comply with the directions of the Centre. “Under Article 365 and 356 of the Constitution, if the President is satisfied that the state has failed to comply with the directions of the Union and a situation has arisen where the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, he can impose President’s rule,” he cautions.

But clearly, the Manipur government has dug in its heels and is refusing to budge. The ILPS issue is likely to be raised again in the winter session of the state Assembly. And Manipur government sources say that chief minister Ibobi Singh will try and persuade the Centre to reconsider its proposal.

This is not the first time that migrants are being targeted in Manipur. In 2008, 14 migrant labourers were gunned down by militants. Government sources say that it’s the militant groups that have been pushing political parties to implement the ILPS in Manipur. In fact, this time too militants have set a December 31 deadline for the “outsiders” to leave.

Though the BEFR was never in place in Manipur, a different permit system for outsiders was, and it was abolished only on November 18, 1950. “That’s the reason we want to keep this as the cut-off date to decide the domicile status of the people. All those who entered the state after this date would require an ILP. They would have no right to purchase land or property in the state,” says Meetei. What’s more, land and property owned by people who came in after the proposed cut-off date would have to be handed over to the state.

However, some say this is an illogical demand. “Unfortunately, this anti-outsider sentiment is politically motivated. This is harming the image of Manipuris outside the state,” says Amar Yumnam, who teaches at Manipur University.

Social scientists too argue that the ILPS is out of place in a globalised world. “Many Manipuris are moving out of the state in search of work. It is infantile to close Manipur’s door to residents of other states,” says Bhagat Oinam, associate professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Oinam, however, believes that there should be some restrictions on people from other states wanting to buy land there.

Ironically, Manipur’s move comes at a time when states where the ILPS is in force are having second thoughts about continuing with it. “We don’t have the mechanism to keep a check on every migrant. Even though outsiders enter the state with an ILP, it is not always possible to know if they are overstaying,” says Nagaland chief secretary Lalthara. Another senior Nagaland government official admits that many benami (illegal) properties have also been bought by “outsiders”, which proves that the ILPS has not had much effect.

But in Manipur there is now a groundswell of sentiment in favour of the ILPS and few are willing to listen to the other side of the argument. “Only the ILPS can ensure that we are not swamped by outsiders,” asserts Manipur People’s Party leader Okram Joy Singh.

No wonder settlers like Ramji are afraid.

 

#Irom Sharmila completes 12 years of Fasting , Anna Hazare’s fast……


आज मेरा रोम रोम चीख रहा है 
एरोम तुम्हारे लिए
चीख पुकार तो कब से दबी थी
गुस्सा भी चीख चीख के निकला था
vt स्टेशन पे तुम्हारी रिहाई की गुहार लगाकर
मानों तन और मनं ऐसा थरका था
लोगों को तुम्हारे बारे में बताना
लोगों को अफ्प्सा काले कानून के बारे में बता कर
मानो मनं कुछ तो हल्का हुआ था

लेकिन कुछ दिन से इस देश की गुहार देखकर 
अन्ना हजारे पर प्यार देख कर
देश के कोने कोने से भर्ष्टाचार के यह एक आवाज़ सुनकर
खुश तो हूँ,
पर मेरा दिल चीख चीख के रो रहा है
मेरा दिमाग, मेरा तन…. इस क्रांति पे खुश है
पर मेरा दिल मेरा साथ नहीं है
मेरा दिल तम्हारे पास है इरोम
वोह तुम्हारे लिए रो रहा है
वोह इस देश को समझ नहीं पा रहा है
आखिर एक दिल है……

तुम दस सालसे भी ज्यादा से भूख हड़ताल पे हो
तुम्हारे साथ एक भी भारतवासी नहीं आया
तुम AFSPA के काले कानून के खिलाफ हो
तुम्हें किसी ने नहीं अपनाया

किसी को मत बताना इरोम
यह एक ऐसी पहेली है
जिसका जवाब इंसानों के साथ बदलता हैं
हम अन्ना हजारे के साथ है
यह हमारी देश भक्ति है
हम अन्ना हजरे के साथ है
हम आम जनता के साथ है

जब हम तुम्हारे साथ है 
हम देशद्रोही है
जब तुम्हारे साथ हैं
हम फ़ौज और जवानों के खिलाफ है
हम इस देश की सुरक्षा के खिलाफ है

भ्रष्टाचार तो बचपन से हमें
हमारी किताबों में भी एक गलत चीज़ है बताया गया है
पर इरोम, देश भक्ति हमें
केवल अपने देश को बचाना ही सिखाएगी

देश, फ़ौज , पोलिस—देश भक्ति का अटूट अंग बन गए हैं
वह मेरी तुम्हरी लड़ाई में हमारे दुश्मन बन गए हैं
भ्रष्टाचार में लाखों करोड़ों के घपले हैं
पर अफ्प्सा , जैसे काले कानून के कारण
इस देश भक्ति के कारण
लाखों करोड़ों देशवासी मौत की नीद सो गए गए है
उनके मरने से उनके परिवार भी मर गए हैं
और हम सब उनको आतंकवादी के नाम देकर….
देशभक्ति का प्रमाण देकर कहीं सो गए

इरोम, हम सरकार की इस बर्बरता को
देशभक्ति के परदे में देख नहीं पाते
कब हमारे देश वासी जागेंगे
और हम देश वासी बाद में , पहले इंसान है
इस एहसास को जान पायेंगे

कब इरोम कब 
कब हजारों लाखों तुम्हारे साथ भी
भूख हड़ताल पे जायेंगे
कब इरोम कब
हमारे देशवासी
इस देशभक्ति का
मुखोटा हटाएँगे

अन्ना हजारे तुम्हारी जीत हो गयी है
तुम्हारे ८५ घंटों के अनशन से
लोकपाल बिल आएगा…….
इरोम शर्मीला के दशक के अनशन पे
AFPSA हटा नहीं है
अन्ना क्या आप इरोम के साथ बैठोगे ?
क्या आप कानून के नाम पर जो लहू बह रहा है ?
उसको रोक पाओगे ?

( This poem I wrote last year in april after the Anna illusion began )

English Translation

Today every pore of my body is screaming 
For you Irom
The screams were suppressed since when…
Anger was coming out in my screams and protests
As I was screaming and shouting for your release at VT station
My being had shaken within
To tell people about you, what you stand for
To tell people about draconian law AFPSA
I felt lighter

For the past few days the country has been screaming
I am happy to see
All the love being doled out to Anna Hazare
To hear voice against corruption
From nook and corner of each city
I am happy to see
But my heart is crying
My brain is happy thinking about this Anna revolution
But my heart is not with me
My heart is with you Irom
It is crying for you
And it is unable to understand the sentiments of this country

After all it’s a HEART
You have been on hunger strike for more than a decade
But not a single Indian came with you
You were against the black law of AFPSA
But no one owned you

Do not tell anyone Irom
This is a riddle
Whose answer changes with people?
If we are with Anna Hazare
We are true patriots
If we are with Anna Hazare
We are with the common people

When we are with you
We are traitors
When we are with you
We are against our army, our soldiers
We are against the national security
Corruption has been embedded as a bad trait
Since our childhood in our text books

But Irom, patriotism
Only teaches us to defend our country
Nation, army, police are inherent features of patriotism
They have become enemies in our fight for freedom

There have been many scams of crores under the banner of corruption
Because of AFSPA, BECAUSE OF THS PATRIOTISM
Lakhs and crores of Indians have been killed
Their families have also died eventually
And we have given them the certificate of terrorists
Very conveniently and gone to sleep in the bed of patriotism

Irom, we are unable to see the human rights violation of government
Under the garb of patriotism
When will my countrymen awaken, to the fact that
We are humans first, and Indians later

When Irom, when
Lakhs of people will join you in your hunger strike?
When Irom, when
Will our people remove the
Mask of patriotism?

Anna Hazare, you have won
After 85 hours of your FAST
The Lokpal Bill will be implemented
After a decade of your fast
Still the AFSPA has not been repealed
Anna will you sit with Irom?
Will you be able to stop the bloodshed
In the name of law?

Listen to my recitation at CGNET SWARA

Kabir Suman recites the Bangla Translation of my poem

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

 

‘ #Irom Sharmila feels fasting is what she is meant to do in life’


Irom Sharmila in her hospital ward prison

Rediff.com, Nov 5, 2012

Today, Irom Sharmila, the Manipur civil rights activist, marks 12 years of her fast in protest against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the state. She remains in judicial custody where she continues to be force-fed through her nose.

Deepti Priya Mehrotra, author of Burning Bright: Irom Sharmila and the Struggle for Peace in Manipur, recalls her association with the Iron Lady of Manipur.

I met her initially in October 2006 in Delhi just to pay my respects. But I kept going back to her, and met her on multiple occasions in the months to come. I found that she was extremely friendly and takes great interest in people and things around her.

She is very attractive, and is very sharp, quick and reactive. We hit it off and started chatting the instant we met. She really wants to know so much. She asked me questions about myself and asked what I teach — who were my students, how I travelled. I found that she preferred to do things the economical way; she would have preferred the bus.

She also started telling me about her own family. She is the youngest of nine brothers and sisters. She is very close to her family and extended family members who all live nearby in a village at the edge of Imphal.

She spoke very fondly of Manipur — her motherland, her birthplace, and has a sense of deep commitment, passion and involvement for it. She is also very close to many people in different generations of her extended family. She was readily involved with what other people in her family did, like spinning. She also liked to walk, and used to cycle around in Manipur.

She told me about her early school days. She said she didn’t like books in school.

Sharmila studied till class XII, and never went to college. The problem with text books, she said, was that they didn’t tell her anything about real life.

I feel the violence she witnessed triggered her poetry. She just couldn’t accept the violence and wanted to do something about it.

And then, one day, after the massacre at Malom village [an alleged encounter by Assam Rifles resulted in the death of 10 people in November 2000], she decided she had to do something. The next morning, she sought blessings from her mother and her elder brother, and the long fast began. I don’t feel that she could have gauged how long the fast would be. I doubt if she still thinks about it.

But she surely is very fond of food. When I met her in a jail in Imphal in 2007, the first question she asked me was if I had tasted Manipuri curries. She said she would cook for me once and then explained the dishes and ingredients in much detail.

She does have some skills in cooking. She is a vegetarian, a rarity in her family and the community.

Coming back to her education, Sharmila never attended college even though she experimented with many options after school. She learnt tailoring, worked with a social group for blind children, but it was her assignment a month before taking up the fast that I believe led her to a very strong belief in what she was doing.

The human rights group she was part of trained her for a few weeks about the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, and then she went along with this team to meet a cross-section of people. I feel it must have brought her to a kind of boiling point. She saw rape victims, spoke to them, went to villages where people had disappeared.

Irom Sharmila is produced at the chief judicial magistrate's court in Imphal every fortnight

I feel that she also connected very deeply with the Meira Paibis, a group of old local women, who have traditionally saved the community from alcohol and drugs, and later from the atrocities by the armed forces. This group is very special to Manipuri society and is present in every village. I feel she felt very strongly connected to them.

But as a person, I often think of her as a very quiet girl, sitting quietly in a corner, observing, feeling and thinking, and taking everything in. She is a very vibrant person, very warm, polite and close to nature.

She was briefly shifted to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi in 2006, and could move around in a garden closeby. I remember one evening, she saw a squirrel and wanted to know everything about it.

During her stay in Delhi, I always found a pile of book neatly stacked next to her bed. Among those books was a Quran, the Bible, Upanishads, books on Buddhism, religion and poetry. She also read Manipuri newspaper and Japanese folk stories.

I think she was really happy when she was in Delhi, because she could meet people. But when she is imprisoned in Manipur, she is not allowed to meet anybody. I mean, she is arrested every year on charges of trying to commit suicide because she refuses to eat. She has not been arrested as a political prisoner.

And so she is imprisoned for a maximum duration of one year, freed for a few days, and then arrested again.

You would be surprised to know that she has neither spoken to nor met her mother ever since she undertook the fast. She believes that her mother would be very unhappy with her not eating and that might make her weak. Her mother has not met her for the same reasons.

There is a small hut a little distance away from the prison in Imphal. Each year she stays in that hut for while, before she is re-arrested. And her demand is a single sentence: repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the state.

I have often asked her family members the question: where does she get her strength from? And I remember her elder brother once said to me, “I will tell you where she gets her strength from. It’s our grandmother.” Her grandmother lived for 104 years.(Smiles)

Lots of people suspect that people pressurise her to stay her on fast. Also because the fast has been very effective, there is no doubt that it brought international attention to the state and its people.

But I don’t think she feels any pressure to continue it. The government and the authorities would love it if she breaks the fast. They will immediately grant her bail and close the case. It has become a big irritant for the government.

She feels that undertaking the fast is what she is meant to do in life. She believes deeply that that’s her purpose, and that’s what God wants her to do.

As told to Priyanka.

 

Image: Irom Sharmila in her hospital ward prison
Photographs: Chitra Ahanthem

 

AFSPA should be scrapped totally and not just from Manipur




November 2, 2012 by Imphal Free Press | 

IMPHAL, November 2: “Chittanranjan na thawaigi pontha pokhiba amadi Irom Chanu Sharmila na chahi taranithoi chara hel-lkpa” was organised today by the Apunba Nupi Lup Bishnupur.

The original venue of the function was supposed to be Bishnupur market, but due to permit issues, it was held at Yangoi Ningthou Yangoi Leima Shanglen, Bishnupur.

IFP Resident Editor speaking at Bishnupur on AFSPA on Friday

IFP Resident Editor speaking at Bishnupur on AFSPA on Friday

Resident Editor Imphal Free Press Irengbam Arun, Asst Prof Dept of Economic, MU Dr Chinglen Meisnam, author of Sharmila: A Mission of Peace Dr Oinam Kulabidhu spoke as resource persons.

Delivering his speech IFP Editor Irengbam Arun said that there are three events which would always identify with the struggle against AFSPA which are Sharmila’s 12 years long fast, Pebam Chittanranjan’s suicide and the women nude protest at Kangla gate.

Delivering awareness to the participating young students, he said, Manipur is within the democratic boundary of India where suspected individuals are caught by the police and are supposed to be produced before the court and punish accordingly.

He said that in Manipur, however the security personnel especially the Indian military forces are given extra immunity and act themselves as police and judge and sometime kills a person without any judgement.

He elaborated that this Act lending extra arms power to the Indian military treats the people of Manipur like animals which has resulted in the loss of many lives in Manipur.

The Editor was also of the opinion that the time has come for all to echo together against the Act and its total deletion from the country.

He said that if the Act is removed only from Manipur, then it will still be imposed in other states where the people will continue to suffer.

He also pointed out that Mahatma Gandhi had fought with Non Violence for freedom and that his five days of fast was affective while, Sharmila’s 12 years of fasting is yet to bear any fruit.

He concluded by saying that it is time for the people to really understand the threatening solution in Manipur and find a concrete solution.

Dr Chinglen Meisnam said that AFSPA is benefiting some people which he called the ‘profiteer of conflict’.

He said that this is a serious issue that all the people of Manipur must understand and participate.

He said that young generations of Manipur are lacking in understanding this crucial situation which will lead to short term gain and long term pain.

As part of the function a rally was also held from the function venue to Chittanranjan’s death spot at Bishnupur Bazar where floral tributes were paid.

The 10 innocent deceased family committee also organised floral tribute at the tomb of Malom massacre spot where 10 innocent people were gunned down while waiting for bus at Malom bus parking, Boroi Makhong.

 

#India- #Irom Sharmila completes 12 years of protest against AFSPA MANIPUR #draconianlaw


,Posted on Nov 05, 2012 at 12:22pm IST

Imphal: Irom Sharmila, Manipur‘s ‘Iron Lady‘, on Monday completed 12 years of protest demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). On an indefinite fast, Sharmila, who is force-fed through the nose to keep her alive began her fast till death after ten persons, including a boy who received the national bravery award, were shot dead in an alleged encounter with Assam Rifles personnel at Malom near Imphal airport on November 2, 2000.

A newspaper columnist and social worker then, Sharmila, went on fast on November 5 that year demanding repeal of AFSPA. She was arrested a day later and charged with attempt to commit suicide. Since then she has been produced in court from time to time, rearrested and produced again in court.

She is force fed at a government hospital at Porompat where the ward she is in has been converted into a jail. Sharmila has received several global awards and several prominent personalities from different parts of the country have visited her in support of her demands.

Her brother and spokesman Irom Singhajit said social organisations including Just Peace Foundation would hold candlelight demonstrations in Imphal while public discussions would be held during the day. Official sources said security and police forces would be deployed in various parts of the city as a precautionary measure.

On eve of 12th anniversary of Sharmila’s fast, activists protest government apathy


 

Staff Reporter, The Hindu

The ‘Iron Lady of Manipur’ Irom Chanu Sharmila, began her hunger strike after the death of 10 people in an alleged encounter with the Assam Rifles at Malom in Imphal Valley. File photo
The Hindu The ‘Iron Lady of ManipurIrom Chanu Sharmila, began her hunger strike after the death of 10 people in an alleged encounter with the Assam Rifles at Malom in Imphal Valley. File photo

‘Government ready to talk to Maoists but not to peaceful fighter against AFSPA’

Civil society activists on Sunday observed a daylong fast at Jantar Mantar here, urging the government to initiate talks with activist Irom Sharmila, who has been on a peaceful fast for the past 12 years for repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Manipur.

 

Ms. Sharmila began her fast on November 5, 2000, a couple of days after Assam Rifles soldiers had mowed down 10 civilians at Malom village in the Imphal valley.

 

“We want to send out the message that Irom Sharmila is not alone. We feel for her because she is a true democrat and a true Gandhian. She has every right to be heard. Her struggle shows her faith in democracy and non-violence,” said Devika Mittal, from Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC), which is opposed to the neglect and suppression of the Manipuri activist’s peaceful fast.

 

“It is quite unfortunate that the government is ready to talk to Maoists but not to Sharmila, who responded to the extreme violence perpetrated by misusing the AFSPA with extreme peace,” said Rishikesh from Jamia Millia Islamia. Now the ‘Iron lady of Manipur’ was being force-fed through the nose at the state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences close to her Kongpal Kongkham Leikai residence in Imphal East, he said.

 

SSSC member Ravi Nitesh said the Army had reduced the AFSPA to a tool for violating human rights. “In a season when people are going on fast and the entire country’s political class engages in talks with them, it’s quite shocking that in these 12 years the government has not acknowledged her peaceful fast,” said Mr. Nitesh, who was among the 12 civil society activists who observed the daylong fast.

 

Gufran Khan, a student activist, called upon the judiciary to intervene, saying the executive was oblivious to the blatant rights violations in the entire north-east. He highlighted the fact that Ms. Sharmila had last month refused the Kovilan Smaraka Activist India National Award given by the Kerala-based Kovilan Trust, saying she would not accept any honour from any individual or organisation until and unless the AFSPA was scrapped.

 

#India- #Irom Sharmila refuses award


KOLKATA, October 29, 2012

 

Irom Sharmila Chanu

Irom Sharmila Chanu (Photo credit: Prachatai)

 

Ananya Dutta

 

Brother asks Kovilan Trust to present it after she fulfils mission

Irom Sharmila, the civil rights activist from Manipur who has been on a 12-year protest fast demanding that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) be repealed, will not accept any awards until she has succeeded in her mission, her brother Irom Singhajit said.

On Saturday, at a function organised in Kolkata, a trust had decided to confer the first Kovilan Smaraka Activist India National Award in the memory of Malayalam poet A.A. Ayyappan upon Ms. Sharmila.

However, Mr. Sighajit, who attended the function, returned the award and asked the organisers “to keep it in their custody and present it to Irom Sharmila herself when she has achieved her goal.”

The decision not to accept any awards was taken by Ms. Sharmila earlier this month.

On October 9, at a routine hearing for the extension of her custody by another fortnight, she had sought the permission of the judge to address a press conference. But the permission was denied and in protest, she took the decision not to accept any awards, Mr. Singhajit told The Hindu over telephone from Imphal.

“The Kovilan Trust had announced the award before October 9 which is why I attended the function. We appreciate the award and have asked them to keep it in their custody,” he said.

Ms. Sharmila started her hunger strike in November 2000, after the “Malom Massacre” — an incident in which 10 innocent persons were killed by personnel of the Assam Rifles.

She was arrested by the police and when her condition began to deteriorate, she was transferred to the Jawaharlal Institute of Medical Sciences where she is force fed, he added.

The law under which Ms. Sharmila is detained allows the police to detain her for a year, after which she is released.

As she refuses to break her world-record fast, she is again arrested and then produced in court every 15 days for the extension of her custody, Mr. Singhajit said. She has been the recipient of several awards including the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in 2007 and the Rabindranath Tagore Peace Prize in 2010.

 

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