Tripura is a start, AFSPA must go from every state: Save Sharmila campaign

By TCN News,

New Delhi: Welcoming the announcement of repeal of AFSPA from Tripura, the Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC) on Friday said it believes that the repeal of AFSPA from Tripura is a decision in favor of democracy and humanity.

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Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC), in a release said, it views this incident as “moving from inertia on the Armed Forces (Special Protection) Act 1958 (AFSPA)”.

Almost 18 years, the northeastern state of Tripura announced to repeal AFSPA on Wednesday. After security forces recently exhaustively reviewed the law and order situation in the state, the council of ministers in Tripura recommended to the Union Home Ministry to issue a notification to withdraw the AFSPA.

“It is because since many years and even after continuous demands by people and rights groups, AFSPA was not even diluted a bit. No government or security agencies have taken any positive steps towards its repeal and were isolated from this issue. No one in the government even wanted to talk about the issue and those who were in the government never tried to break the ice and ignored people’s demand,” the release said.

“As, SSSC had already stated in several other campaigning moments, AFSPA does not have people’s mandate. We also believe that by breaking this inertia, there is a signal of something positive. A start was awaited,” it added.

Stating that Tripura, one of the states in the North East region, repealing AFSPA from this state also sends a message of confidence and hope among all other people who are residing in AFSPA zone presently, the SSSC said, “We also see that this start must become dynamic very soon and governments must try to repeal it from everywhere.”

Demand the government to immediately pay attention also towards Manipur, where Irom Sharmila is on a continuous fast since the last 15 years, the campaigners said keeping AFSPA in Manipur is against the will and future of state.

“We demand with state and central government both to coordinate and cooperate with each other to end the impasse over AFSPA. For Manipur, state leadership of central ruled party has already promised repeal of AFSPA,” the release said.

SSSC believes that AFSPA that was extended to J&K vide AFSPA-J&K, should also be repealed as victimisation and sufferings cannot be looked separately. A human rights violation is always a violation of human rights regardless of region. In J&K, so many incidents of killings, rapes and disappearances have already been reported and evidences were provided even before courts against many security officials, but due to impunity under AFSPA (section 7), nothing could be done against culprits, it pointed out.

The SSSC also sees that enjoying such an impunity that AFSPA provides is “actually a corruption and it is absolutely not required for any responsible, honest and committed security force personals. On the contrary, it becomes dangerous as such absolute powers divert the normal way of working of personals.”