[Assam] Appealing to Sharmila Irom to end her fast-unto-death

Pradip Kumar Datta pradip200 at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 13 19:13:56 PST 2006

Somnath lends support to AFSP Act repeal
>From Our Spl Correspondent
 NEW DELHI, Dec 12 – Lok Sabha Speaker, Somnath Chatterjee today joined Members in appealing to Sharmila Irom to end her fast-unto-death, even as pressure mounted on the Centre to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958. The Speaker’s appeal came after Members responding to NCP leader PA Sangma’s Zero Hour notice, called on the Centre to resolve the tangle. Lok Sabha Members belonging to the Left parties, the BJP, UPA allies and regional parties were up on their feet, this afternoon, hearing that Sarmila has been taken off her life support system in the aftermath of the Prime Minister’s announcement in Imphal to amend the Act.

Sharmila, who has been on an indefinite fast, since last six years, demanding repeal of the Act, has been kept alive through forced feeding after Police arrested her and admitted her to hospital.

Sangma drawing the attention of the House today, called for repeal of the AFSP Act describing it as draconian and symbol of repression. When the Prime Minister himself has said it is an inhuman act, it should be thrown out, he said.

The BP Jeevan Reddy Committee has also recommended that it should be repealed. Sangma quoted some portion of the Review Committee’s Report that is yet to be made public by the Central Government. “On behalf of the people of Manipur and North-east, I demand repeal of the Act,” he said.

Asserting that the Act failed in its purpose, Sangma pointed out when the Act was promulgated in 1958 there was one insurgent outfit and when it was put into force the number increased to four. Now after all these years, there are at least 25 insurgent groups in Manipur alone, he asserted.

In reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, S.Reghupathy said that 71, complaints during the last three years, of oppression and high handedness have been received by Central paramilitary forces in the North-east.

Cases of abuse of power is established after proper inquiry, action against the guilty security officer is taken in accordance with the law concerning the particular force, the minister said.

Supervisory officers closely monitor all operations and cognisance is taken of deviations, if any.

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