The auditorium of JNU City Center, located at the heart of the Capital , reverberated with slogans "Repeal the Arms Forces (Special Powers) Act", "Long live the struggle of people of Manipur", "Long live the struggle of people of India", "Withdraw NSA", and "Withdraw Disturbed Areas Act", when more than 400 students, youth, political, social and human right activists, professors from JNU, Delhi University and Jamia Milia Islamia University raised their voices in unison.
This was the culmination of the day long Convention organised by Manipur Students Association, Delhi. Through the day participants from political parties, youth organizations, student associations, professors from JNU, Delhi University and Jamia Milia Islamia University, youth for various slums and localities in Delhi discussed the issue as to "What needs to be done to take the struggle against AFSPA forward?".
The convention started with screening of a documentary based on the video footage of struggle of Manipuri people against AFSPA . The documentary showed in gory details the army repression that the people of Manipur have to face on daily basis. Representative from the executive committee of MSAD presented the report and the keynote on the struggle against AFSPA.
Speaker after speakers expressed their solidarity with the fighting people of Manipur. More than 30 participants expressed their views on the topic which includes Justice Ajit Singh Bains, Dr. L. Pardesi (Advisor, NECOHR), Prakash Rao (Communist Ghadar Party of India), Com. Goswami (Revolutionary Socialist Party), Bijju Nayak (Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha), Prof. Rizwan Kaisar (Jamia Milia Teachers Association), Prof. BK Roy Burman, Prof. Bhagat Oinam, Sucharita Basu, Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, Th. Tarun Kumar, Prof. Vijay Singh, Prof. Kumar Sanjay Singh, Peter D’ Souza, Gurmeet (AIPRF), Somangal Siddhantakar, Dr. Bimol, Mr. Jeban (Former Minister, Manipur), Sudha (Chattisgarh Mahila Mukti Korcha), Poonam (Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan), Kavita Krishnan (All India Students Association), Mona Das (JNU Student Union), Gopal, Anand, Banerjeet, Jagdish, and Malem.
Continuing on the earlier efforts by various organizations to step up the struggle against AFSPA, MSAD along with Lok Raj Sangathan took the bold step of involving all the organizations and concerned individuals in the national debate on "What needs to be done to take the struggle forward against AFSPA?".
The Convention was marked by fraternal spirit amongst all the participants and solidarity of all the people of India with the brave people of Manipur who are fighting against the mother of all draconian laws in India – the AFSPA 1958.
Although Kuldeep Nayyar and Prof Rajani Kothari, and Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy could not attend the convention they expressed solidarity with the people of Manipur and their support for the Convention. Prof Sanajaobo (Dean of Law, Guwahati University) sent a message to the Convention detailing the history and consequences of AFSPA in the North-East.
The Convention concluded with a bold resolution unanimously demanding immediate and unconditional repeal of the Act, withdrawal of all the soldiers into the barracks, and end to repression under NSA and Disturbed Areas Act. The convention questioned the policy of the Indian Government of defending "unity and integrity" with gun, repression and the AFSPA. It challenged the government to decide whether it wants the people of Manipur or the land of Manipur.
Sarem Rojesh (Manipur Students Association, Delhi), Pravin (Lok Raj Sangathan) conducted the proceeding of the convention with Justice Ajit Singh Bains, Dr. L. Pardesi, Siddharth Varadrajan, and Th. Tarun Kumar on the presidium.