Manipur CM joins chorus for AFSPA repeal

Updated - December 10, 2021 10:13 am IST

Published - December 09, 2021 02:51 am IST - IMPHAL

N. Biren Singh. File photo

N. Biren Singh. File photo

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh is the latest leader from the northeast region to demand the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA).

“We have been demanding its repeal in Manipur. We shall continue to do so,” he said on Wednesday.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his Meghalaya counterpart Conard K. Sangma have already demanded its repeal. They say that some forces had misused the Act to create terror among the civilians. The demand comes after the killing of innocent civilians in Nagaland on December 4.

The Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights, in a statement on Wednesday, said it was surprising that the Manipur Chief Minister was keeping silent on the issue. The convener of the organisation, Phulindro Konsam, said Mr. Singh had built his political career on the anti-AFSPA platform. Congress MLA A. Mirabai had accused Mr. Singh of keeping a deafening silence. “People are wondering if they got a dynamic leader”.

Human rights activists have documented cases of 1,528 persons who are alleged to have been killed in fake encounters and other extra-judicial incidents. Some cases are being heard in the Supreme Court and some in lower courts. A few Manipuri women scripted history by staging a naked protest in 2004 in front of the Assam Rifles camp in Imphal in protest against the rape and murder of a woman, Thangjam Manorama, allegedly by a 17 Assam Rifles team. The then Congress government had lifted the AFSPA from seven Assembly segments.

The 16-year fast by Irom Sharmila demanding repeal of the AFSPA did not have the desired result.

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