Justice B G Kolse Patil, President, Movement Againt UAPA And Other Repressive Laws (MURL) said in a press statement issued here today, that Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, (AFSPA), is the main reason for the uncontrolled military powers for detention, torture, destruction, killing and execution of Indian citizens in North East and other border states.
The latest very unfortunate incident of human rights violation is from Nagaland, wherein 13 innocent persons were killed and some were seriously injured without any significant cause. The ghastly incident took place when the villagers were returning home in a pick-up truck after the day’s work at a coal mine. The president of Oting Village Students’ Union (OVSU), Keapwang Konyak, informed that the incident came to light after the victims didn’t return home as usual. He informed that six persons were killed on the spot while four others were killed after the volunteers set the vehicle on fire.
In 2017, the Supreme Court had ordered an investigation into 1,528 cases of alleged extrajudicial killings between 2000 and 2012 by the security forces and police in neighbouring Manipur, another state under AFSPA. It is a law that has great potential for large-scale human rights violations.
This law caused enormous sufferings for thousands of innocent people, as armed forces grossly misused the provisions and killed, raped, and abducted civilians and destroyed their properties. Some states like Kashmir and Manipur witnessed more violence by the armed forces by using the provisions of this Act.
The AFSPA gives the central government power to declare certain regions, or even an entire state, as ‘disturbed areas’. This can be done by the central government even without the consent of the state government. “No prosecution, suit or other legal proceeding shall be instituted, except with the previous sanction of the Central Government, against any person in respect of anything done or purported to be done in exercise of the powers conferred by this Act,” the Act says.
The people of the states under AFSPA and human rights groups across India have been demanding for long, an unconditional withdrawal of AFSPA in the best national interests.
Justice Kolse Patil called upon all parties and groups that have concerns for justice and peace in our border regions, to build joint struggles till the repeal of this repressive law.
AFSPA should go.
Yours in solidarity,
Sadique Qureshi (National Coordinator)
Movement Against UAPA And Other Repressive Laws (MURL)
Contact No: 9021264212