Bangalore, 22nd May 2011
SOLIDARITY MARCH FOR THE REPEAL of AFSPA AND RELEASE OF IROM SHARMILA
Date of Program:22 May 2011
Time: 5pm to 7pm
Venue:Town Hall to Mahatma Gandhi Statue, MG Road, Bangalore
The draconian act of AFSPA has been implemented in North eastern states of India since 1958 and in Jammu and Kashmir since 1991. It was on May 22, 1958, that the AFSPA was promulgated in the north east as an ordinance. This law is more draconian than its predecessor ordinance used by the British to suppress the Quit India Movement. It gave extraordinary powers to members of the armed forces, to arrest without warrant and shoot to kill on the basis of suspicion; and no legal action can be taken up against the armed forces without prior sanction from the Centre.
Irom Sharmila has been on hunger fast for more than 10 years now demanding repeal of AFSPA . She has been force fed through her nose by the Government, arrested with charges for attempt to commit suicide, criminalized as a high security prisoner, denying her access to family, friends, supporters and the media.
Various movements in the North East and Kashmir and human rights groups across the country have consistently demanded the repeal of the Act. AFSPA is not only opposed by the civil society groups but also by the Government’s own commissions and committees appointed to look into the matter.
The Committee to Review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, headed by Justice B. P. Jeevan Reddy in 2005, the Administrative Reforms Commission headed by Dr. Veerappa Moily in 2007 and several others have recommended its repeal. Internationally, UN bodies including the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the U N High Commissioner for Human Rights and recently the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders have urged for its repeal.
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) hereby calls to all democratic forums, human rights groups , people’s movements and all concerned citizens to initiate various public protest actions from May 22 to August 18, demanding repeal of AFSPA and immediate release of Irom Sharmila.
PUCL( Bangalore) with National Alliance of People’s Movement (Karnataka),
Alternative Law Forum,
New Socialist Alternative,
People’s Solidarity Concerns,
Kashmir Youth Intellect,
Centre for Social Concern(St. Josephs College),
National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation,
Student Christian Movement of India (Bangalore),
Stree Jagrutu Samiti,
People’s Democratic Forum
and many other human rights
and communal harmony organizations.