A hunger strike is not a criminal offence (“Starving to live, not die,” March 30). It is a strong form of expressing one’s opinion. A welfare government cannot remain idle when one of its citizens is dying for whatever reason.
Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises “attempts to commit suicide,” gives the government an excuse for interfering and saving the life of the citizen.
Every time the media talks of anti-AFSPA activist Irom Sharmila, people tend to view the Army as a tormentor. It is not so. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act is not anti-people. It is meant to enable the security forces to act against militants with due legal protection. If AFSPA is repealed, the hands of the security forces will be tied. Let us move beyond the murder of 10 civilians in November 2002 and see the positives. The Army does not spare anyone who is guilty, and cases of rape and indiscipline are dealt with strictly.
Col. R.D. Singh (retd.),