//AHRC seeks support for rights activists

AHRC seeks support for rights activists

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, Aug 25: With the Human Rights Alert apprising the Asian Human Rights Commission on the arrest of TIPS general secretary L Umakanta and publicity secretary Y Langamba alias Thabi, the latter has urged all concerned to do their bit and secure their release.

Giving a detailed account of the arrest of the two human rights activists, AHRC in a statement said that Manipur is one of the seven States of North East India where the rule of law has deteriorated to such an extent that the armed forces enjoy complete immunity by virtue of the imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

The AFSPA empowers the security force to take into custody anyone on suspicion and even gives them permission to shoot and kill, said AHRC and recalled the strong protest launched in 2004 after Th Manorama was killed in the custody of the security personnel.

The North East region has been neglected by successive Governments at New Delhi, said the statement and added that many have been tortured, killed and made to disappear after arrest.

Even free reporting of news is subjected to screening by the security agencies so that none of the incidents of gross violations of human rights are reported in the Indian media, alleged AHRC.

The restrictions imposed on the entry of foreigners in the region also effectively means a complete media black out of the happenings in the States of North East India, added the statement.

While seeking the support of all concerned, AHRC urged them to write to the Prime Minister of India and others.