The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Oct 8: The Apunba Lup, which is continuing its sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar in the national capital today, has expressed concern over the recommendations of the Justice Jeevan Reddy Review Committee on Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act,1958.
The Lup and Manipur Students Association, Delhi, MSAD are currently intensifying the campaign for the repeal of AFPSA with the support of students, human rights groups, intellectuals, civil societies and other well wishers in New Delhi, a release said.
Stating that the Review Committee`s recommendation to repeal the AFSPA appears positive, the Apunba Lup in a release condemned the "other recommendation to refer the provisions of AFSPA to other repressive laws, primarily the Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act,1967".
The observation of the Review Committee that "AFSPA has become a symbol of oppresion, an object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high handedness…." is a judicious remark that reflected the systematic trend of human rights violations and terror unleased by armed forces with impunity in Manipur, the release stated.
The Lup also condemned the chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh`s insistence to continue the imposition of AFSPA even after the Jeevan Reddy Committee`s observation that the Act is discriminatory and repressive.
Meanwhile, representatives of Apunba Lup today visited Irom Sharmila at AIIMS Hospital where the iron lady is being detained, the release further said.
Terming the continued detention of Sharmila whose health continues to be in critical condition as a serious violation of her personal freedom and liberty, the Apunba Lup condemned the state authorities for force feeding her against her will.
Here in the state renewed protest against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the state following Sharmila`s shift of protest venue at the National Capital gained momentum as several civil society bodies and local organisations came out on the streets to stage mass sit-in-protest.
Fueled by Sharmila`s shift of protest venue, several civil society bodies and local organisations have staged mass sit-in-protests in the state ever since report of Sharmila`s worsened health condition reached the state.
Today, several social organisations and Meira Paibis staged protest-sit-ins at various places all over the state with the slogans and banners like `Save Sharmila`, `Repeal AFSPA`, `Stop state terrorism` etc.
Sit-in protests were held at Lamlong Keithel, Pangei bazar, Pangei government LP school campus, Khundrakpam, Sagolmang, Chingkhu, Yumnam Khunou, Sagolmang bazar, Pukhao bazar, Pukhao Iranpham thongkhong, Uyumpok Thongkhong bazar, Uyumpok Mamang Leikai, Nongsum bazar, Lamboikhul, Taretkhul, Keibi Awang Leikai, Soibam Leikai Citizen`s club, Sangakpham Bazar, orgd by Laipham Khunou Meira Paibee Lup, Khabam Lamkhai, orgd by North Imphal Meira Paibee Lup, Nilakuthi Lamkhai, orgd by Koirengei Manung Mapal Meira Paibee Lup, Khamaram, orgd by Luwamg Leimarol Chaokhat Khongthang Nupi Lup, Khongampat, orgd by Women Welfare Assn. and Mantri Laikai Meira Paibee Lup, Feidinga, co-orgd by Feidinga Meira Paibee Lup, Loidang Sandum Meira Paibee Lup, and Loidand Leikinthaba Meira Paibee Lup, Sekmai, orgd by Advance Women Society Awang Sekmai, Tendongyan, orgd by Tendongyan Apunba Meira Paibee Lup, Khongampat (near Khongampat High School) orgd by Laikol Lairembi Nupi Khongampat Awang Leikai, Churachandpur Mandop Leikai, Meetei Society Churachandpur, Thongjao, Laimanai, Wangjing Bazar, Charangpat Mamang Leikai, Wangoi Bazar, Waikhong, Keirao, Irilbung Bazar, Bhamon Kampu, Kongba Kshetri Leikai, Wangkhei Thangjam Leikai, Wangkhei Tokpam Leikai, O.L.A. ground, Nupi Seba Meira Paibee, Soibam Leikai and Wangkhei Khonou. etc.
Such protests were also held at several places in Imphal west, Thoubal, Bishnupur and Churachandpur district.
In the meantime, a massive torch rally was held today along Burmu-Sugnu road this evening.
Thousands of Meira Paibis hailing from Lamjao, Hiyanglam, Wabagai, Keirak with torch in their hands joined the rally which was staged from Wabagai Lamkhai to AR post at Sekmai Barrage.
During the rally, participants raised several slogans like `Save Sharmila`, `Repeal AFSPA`, `Stop State Terrorism`, `Go back Indian Army` etc.
Some youths who took part in the rally were detained for some time by personnels of the 21 AR when the rally approaches the AR post at Sekmai Barrage. The youths were however released later.