//Support Sharmila, Repeal AFSPA, Restore Right to Life

Support Sharmila, Repeal AFSPA, Restore Right to Life

Call For Action on November 2, 2006: 6 years of Hunger Strike

Dear friends,

During the last few decades, the people of North Eastern states and J&K have witnessed severe repression with the implementation of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (1958). Under this law, the security forces have:

# The power to arrest and enter property without warrant
# The power to shoot, arrest, and kill at the mere hint of suspicious activity, even without the lives of members of the security force being at imminent risk
# Immunity against legal action.

The implementation of this law has led to brutal rape, arbitrary detentions, “disappearances”, killings, and loot. This law is being actively used by security forces to terrorize and subordinate local communities in the name of counter-insurgency. The implementation of this draconian law AFSPA has challenged not only the democratic norms of Manipur, but also of the entire freedom loving people in India for allowing such blatant repression to take place.

Protesting against AFSPA, Irom Sharmila Chanu, the young poet from Manipur has been on an indefinite hunger fast for many years. On November 2, 2006, the hunger strike of Sharmila Irom is going to complete six years. She is being forcefully nasal-fed in AIIMS, Delhi, by the authorities. She has only one demand: the withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (1958) from Manipur.

This year 2006 happens to be the 100th year of the non-violent and peaceful protest form `Satyagraha' initiated by Mahatma Gandhi. But in the land of Gandhi this is the first time in Indian history somebody has gone through a hunger strike for six years.

The struggle of Sharmila Irom is generating moral and social support and solidarity from all over. Protest actions and solidarity actions are being planned in Trivandrum, Trichur, Kottayam, New Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Manipur and other places.

We, the following organisations extend full support to the struggle of Sharmila Irom and peoples oppressed by AFSPA. We call all democratic organisations to extend your support by joining these protests and initiating solidarity actions wherever possible in your area.

Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM)
People's Media Initiative
Narmada Bachao Andolan
Theeradesa Mahila Vedi, Kerala
Global Alternate Information Applications (GAIA), Kerala
Visual Search, Bangalore
Samvedan Cultural Programme (Ahmedabad)
KRITI, New Delhi
PEACE, New Delhi
Forum for Democratic Initiatives, New Delhi
Manipur Students Association Delhi (MSAD)
Centre for Contemporary Studies & Research, Lucknow
EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity), Mumbai
Malabar Theeradesha Vanitha Federation
Nireesha – Women's Theatre Group
Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF)
SICHREM, Bangaloe
People's Union for Civil Liberties(PUCL), Bangalore
Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (CHRO) Keralam

& many others

(Please send reports and protest stills of your actions to [email protected] so that these actions can be publicised.

For more information on the issue please visit: http://www.manipurfreedom.org )