Manipur Students’ Association, Delhi (MSAD), in association with other student’s organization, civil societies (AISA, JNUSU, SFI, APCR) and individuals in Delhi organized protest demonstration demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 on 22nd December 2014 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.
Today’s protest demonstration was the collective solidarity of the student’s organization and civil societies. A memorandum was also submitted to the prime minister of India. All the participant organizations delivered solidarity speeches and shouted slogans such as “Repeal AFSPA”, “AFSPA Down Down”, “Stop Colonial Policy”, “Repeal Colonial Act”, “Protect Human Rights”, “Long Live Irom Sharmila” and “Long Live People’s Struggle”.
We know that, Miss Irom Sharmila has been on hunger strike since Nov 2000 demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958. This was her immediate response to the Malom Massacre (Manipur) of 2nd Nov 2000 when the Assam Rifles massacred 10 innocent civilians, including women and children, and brutally assaulted more than 64 civilians in the name of counter insurgency. She was arbitrarily arrested on the charge of attempted suicide and has been forced fed in custody. . Articles 4 and 6 of the Armed Forces Special Powers’ Act 1958 empowers with impunity the armed forces to carry out unrestrained custodial killing, massacring, torturing, sexual harassment, searching and forced disappearance of innocent civilians. In short, the AFSPA violates democratic rights of the people and leave with no scope for a political solution.
The mass demonstration constituted a momentum of the series of ongoing protest carried out against human rights violations under the objective conditions of state terrorism in India unleashed by the government in the name of counter insurgency. MSAD fully acknowledges the multi-national character of the Indian sub-continent and firmly believes that the democratic issues raised by the nationalities to defend their national rights cannot be suppressed through undemocratic military tactics. The nationality question in the Indian sub-continent being political issue, MSAD believes that investing the military to deal with such political issues culminates in state sponsored terrorism in the Northeast.
MSAD, on this occasion of the protest demonstration, fully condemned the AFSPA and demand:
* Immediate Repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958.
* Stop colonial policy and colonial politics by the Indian state.
* Immediate release of Irom Sharmila.
* Refrain from retaining AFSPA in any form.