Will fight till AFSPA scrapped: Apunba Lup
IMPHAL, 11th Jul: Working Committee of the Apunba Lup (WACAL) has reiterated that it will continue to campaign against the draconian Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), 1958 till the repressive law has been scrapped completely from the state.
Speaking during the observance of 16th Death Anniversary of Thangjam Manorama Devi, who was killed by Assam Rifles, held at her Bamon Kampu residence in Imphal East district on Saturday, WACAL convener Phulindro Konsam noted that AFSPA is a law that was introduced by the British to rule India with an iron fist.
“It is a law that has been accepted worldwide as draconian for it gives unbridled power to the armed forces to kill anyone at any time or place without fear of prosecution,” he said.
Phulindro pointed that the Act was first implemented in India as an ordinance by the then colonial British government but opposed tooth and nail by Indian freedom fighters terming it as a black law. But after India got independence it was passed as an Act in 1958 by the Indian Parliament and imposed it in Northeast, Jammu & Kashmir and other conflict areas.
Phulindro recalled that after AFSPA was imposed in the whole of Manipur in 1980, Indian Army and other central forces have killed numerous people in the name of counter insurgency, many have been involuntarily disappeared after being picked up by security forces while modesty of unaccountable number of women was outraged by the men in uniform. The tolerance limit of the people snapped when Thangjam Manorama was picked up by 17 Assam Rifles personnel on July 10, 2004 night from her house only for her lifeless body to be found at Thonghaipham area in Ngariyan Chingol (hillock).
Though there were already stiff opposition against the continuance of AFSPA even before the Manorama incident, her extra-judicial death shook the people and sparked huge public protest against the law which is still in force, he said. The observance which was jointly organised by Thangjam Manorama Charitable Trust and WACAL was marked by offering of floral tributes to Manorama’s photo while strictly adhering to social distancing and SOPs issued by the government.