The Indian Army catchphrase "Do you have it in you?" used to fill my heart with all the josh and patriotism in the world. Not any more! Check this...
What Indian Army has done in the state of Manipur in the last 50 years is worse than what Modi did in Gujarat.
There is something known as the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, better known as AFSPA. This is one of the most draconian pieces of legislature in Indian history, which states that in any area that is proclaimed as "disturbed", an officer of the armed forces has powers to:
- Fire upon or use other kinds of force even if it causes death
- To arrest without a warrant and with the use of "necessary" force anyone who has committed certain offences or is suspected of having done so
- To enter and search any premise in order to make such arrests
And that is precisely what has happened in Manipur. Incidents of false encounters, custodial deaths, youths disappearing, young women being raped and killed are a common phenomenon.
Mister Prime Minister, Manipur is not 'DISTURBED'. It is 'BEING DISTURBED'. Consciously! On Purpose! And the Indian Army is the worst terror outfit a common Manipuri can think of!
Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee says the Act is a "symbol of oppression, instrument of high-handedness. But GoI has turned a deaf ear.
Many human rights activists have also demanded abolition of this brutal Act. Sharmila Irom is an icon of the struggle to dismantle AFSPA. She has been on an indefinite hunger strike since Nov 2000.
8.5 years is a long time...
She has been kept on alive on forced-feeding by the state. Her only demand - Repeal AFSPA.
Sharmila, you are not alone. We stand by you in your struggle for justice!