Dimapur, Sep 15 : Civil society groups from the seven sister States of North East, assembled in Gawahati on Thursday to deliberate on the various aspects of the imposition and continuance of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 and took a resolution to take up intensive mobilisation of the masses in the NE to oppose this draconian law and struggle against the AFSPA by linking up with other peoples’ movements in the region.
They also resolved to constitute a North East platform for a broader coordination and coalition of various human rights groups, civil society groups, peoples’ movements at both regional as well as at all-India level by going beyond ethnic, tribal and community affiliations.
The civil organisations also adopted a resolution to lobby with the MPs from NE as well as other sympathetic parliamentarians to facilitate procedural and substantive actions to repeal the AFPSA at the earliest.
The civil society organisations participating in the event were Centre for Research and Advocacy, Human Rights Alert, Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti, WinG-India, NE Dialogue Forum, Borok People Human Rights Organisation, Barak Human Rights Protection Committee, People’s Right to Information and Development Implementing Society of Mizoram.
Eminent personalities like Prof Apurba Kr Baruah, advocate Bijon Mahajan, writer and social activist Kaka Iralu, Dr Prasenjit Biswas, Professor of Philosophy, NEHU, Babloo Loitongbam, Executive Director, Human Rights Alert, Anjuman Ara Begum, member, WinG-India and Prof Akhil Ranjan Dutta among others spoke on the various aspects of the imposition and continuance of AFSPA.
The cvil society organisations noted that it was on the September 11, 1958 that the President of India signed the Act, and the same day 9/11 is observed as anti-terrorism day. The struggle against State terrorism started on the same day.
People are outraged by the horrendous stories of atrocities committed by the armed forces, including aerial bombing, forced grouping and re-grouping of villages, burning down of villages, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial executions, rape and other forms of sexual violence, torture and inhuman degrading treatment, etc., under the impunity provided by the AFSPA, they observed. The groups also expressed their outrage at the fact that rape and other forms of sexual violence has been used as a weapon of militarisation under the impunity provided by AFSPA.
The groups expressed concern that the AFSPA is being increasingly used to gag and subvert the democratic voices against the unsustainable, predatory and anti-people mega dams and other development projects.