Women protest at Kangla Fort against AFSPA
IMPHAL, January 25
[dropcap]L[/dropcap]eaders of various women folk organizations in the state today staged a protest in front of the western gate of historic Kangla Fort in the heart of Imphal town against the imposition of Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA) in Manipur.Holding anti-AFSPA banner the womenfolks also demanded the repeal of the Act .Speaking to the media one woman protester said the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmoham Singh had promised to the people of Manipur during his visit in the state in the year 2006 that this Act will be replaced with a more human act soon.But nothing has been done so far,she lamented.The Lok Sabha election is scheduled to be held in the state but no political leaders at the centre is not concerning about the people’s voice against the AFSPA not to speak of repealing the Act, she added. However the womenfolks numbering around 30 were rounded up by the police team who arrived at the scene on hearing the protest.On Thursday, NGO activists have urged both the Indian armed forces and armed non-state actors to respect and implement international humanitarian laws, Geneva conventions 1949’s common article 3 and additional protocol II of 1997. Rev PBM Baisaiawmoit, former vice president of National Council of Churches urged the authorities to establish truth and reconciliation commission. The truth has to come in order to bring justice,he felt. On the other hand Kh Rebati Raman member of North East Dialogue Forum observed that the people of north eastern region will not have equal rights with the people in rest of the country if the Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA) 1958 is imposed in the region. They also observed that the people of north eastern states and Manipur in particular have been experiencing the violent armed conflict for the last 50 years. They also urged the government of India to repeal AFSPA and urge to compensate all victims of rape,torture and families of those innocent civilians killed.They also urged to punish human trafficking and rehabilitate victims of trafficking.