AI to meet Rajnath for safety of rights activists

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 11th June: Amnesty International staff Nikita Bannerjee has said the UN body will be meeting with the Union Home Minister to take up concrete steps for stopping the death threats being made to the petitioners and family members of the 1528 fake-encounter case victims, presently under legal proceedings of the Supreme Court of India.
She disclosed this during the launch of a week-long brave campaign jointly conducted by EEVFAM, Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Alert at Puthiba community hall, Khurai Lamlong, Imphal Monday.
Condemning threats to the family members and human rights defenders especially EEVFAM allegedly by security personnel and other powerful people, Nikita said that Amnesty International takes the matter seriously and would soon meet Manipur Chief Minister N Biren and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for discussing the issue seriously.
Speaking on the occasion, Human Rights Alert executive director Babloo Loitongbam opined that there is no certainty if justice will be delivered in the fake encounter cases. Out of the 1528 cases, the apex court had selected some cases and directed CBI to conduct investigation and file charge sheets of the selected cases by December 6 last year. However, as CBI failed to keep the deadline, the Court extended the time till June this year and has fixed July 3 for hearing the case, he conveyed.
Babloo said that the lack of enthusiasm on part of CBI has left the family members of the victims and the people of the state restless.
“Nonetheless, despite the threats given to the family members and the human rights activists associated with the cases, we will continue to move forward with determination until justice is delivered in all the cases,” he affirmed.
Stating that some big changes have occurred since EEVFAM filed the cases of stage managed encounters at Supreme Court, Babloo pointed out that all fake encounters have come to a complete halt in the state as compared to pre-2013.
The reason is mostly due to EEVFAM’s action of taking the case to the apex court in 2013, he maintained.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International campaign manager Arijit Sen contended that human rights violation in Manipur has been happening endlessly and many rights defenders of the state who are fighting against such atrocities are continuously being threatened. Despite this, they continue to fight for truth and justice. Thus, Amnesty International will extend its support to them in their fight, he assured. Regarding the campaign, Arijit said that the Global Brave campaign is also being observed all over the world to give support and encouragement to all those who are fighting for justice and protection of human rights. EEVFAM general secretary Edina Yaikhom and Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup president PH Sakhi Leima were also present as presidium members.


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