IMPHAL, May 19 – Hundreds of Ukhrul denizens took out a silent public rally demanding immediate withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Ukhrul town today.
The rally which was jointly organised by People’s Forum Ukhrul, Tangkhul Youth Council, Tangkhul Women’s League, All Hunphun Tang Chairman/secretary Association and Ukhrul NGO Network began from Tangkhul Naga Long Ground and marched to Mini Secretariat after passing through the streets of the hill town. Later, a memorandum addressed to the President of India was submitted through the Deputy Commissioner.
The memorandum said AFSPA which has been in existence for more than half a century in the region has curtailed the basic fundamental rights to life and freedoms of the people in the region resulting in the loss of innumerable lives.
The statement categorically mentioned that the foundation of India as enunciated in the preamble to the constitution stands for safeguarding justice, liberty and equality of its citizens whereas the application of AFSPA in the region has denied the constitutional security in the region.
“It’s time to repeal AFSPA if India is to maintain the basic concept of its democratic system as enshrined in its constitution”, said Human rights activist and convenor Hungyo Hung of PFU. The continuing existence of AFSPA in North East has been a matter of debate and controversy at different national and international forum. Even the government constituted Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee has recommended for repeal of AFSPA, he said.