Activists and supporters belonging to number of organization joined their forces with Manipuri students and people demanding immediate repeal of AFSPA. While Irom Sharmila has been fast for more than 11 years demanding repeal of AFSPA, people in Manipur, North-east and across the country have shown solidarity with the cause by organizing various actions declaring its as a “form War on People”. The peaceful march was organised by Save Democracy – Repeal AFSPA (Group) on 2nd October 2011 at Jantar Mantar.
Various speakers addressed the gathering describing the draconian nature of the law, which has led to killing of numerous innocent people by the state in the name of countering insurgency, while those perpetrating this monstrous crime are protected through the provisions in the Act, raising question on the very nature of democracy in India. Bringing out the fact that it is a colonial law they highlighted the atrocities being committed by the armed forces.
Addressing the gathering Pravin of Lok Raj Sangathan, declared that if there is no democracy in Manipur, there cannot be democracy in India. More than 5 years back the entire country had risen up in one voice and condemned this law, when they saw that the mothers of Manipur disrobed themselves to highlight the draconian nature of the Act and to protect the dignity of their daughters and sons, who are being raped and murdered in cold blood by the armed forces, enjoying immunity under the Act. The entire country was shaken up and the government was forced set up a committee to look into the Act. The recommendation of the committee to repeal the Act, as expected, has been put under cold storage.
Recently, we have seen a huge upsurge in the consciousness of the people across the country, with people questioning the sole right of the parliament to make laws, and demanding that they too have right to initiate legislation and make laws that govern them. He said that if the people of India were asked what should be done with AFSPA, and explained its various draconian provisions, they will certainly vote to repeal this anti-people Act, which has been tormenting the fellow people of Manipur, Nagaland, entire North-east and Kashmir. The question as to who is sovereign, who has power to decide has come to fore with full force and has become the center of discussion amongst people. The day is not very far, when the people of India will exercise this power and throw away this act.
Number of speakers including one of the mothers who had participated in the protest more than 5 years back also addressed the gathering.
The leaflet from the protest is attached below.