Human rights activists in NE oppose AFSPA

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Itanagar, Mar 17 (UNI) Human rights activists in North East have opposed the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) alleging that it has proved to be counter-productive and not helped to fight insurgency in the region.

Addressing a workshop on 'United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights', by Nefa Indigenous Human Rights Organisation (NIHRO) and North East Dialouge Forum (NEDF) here yesterday, the activists spoke against the Act demanding corrective measures from the government.

Human Rights Alert (HRA) executive director Bablo Loitongbam while speaking about the misuse of AFSPA in NE, especially Manipur, alleged that the Act has harmed the people as it has inadequate provisions for holding Army accountable for violation of human rights.

''It is fundamentally wrong prescription for the problems confronting the NE,'' he said adding that the Jeevan Reddy Committee's report on AFSPA was not made public by the government.

Even the Veerappa Moily Committee on Administrative Reforms had recommended repeal of the Act, he added.

NIHRO chairman Tado Karlo, Arunachal Citizen Right chairman Bamang Anthony and Human Rights Law Network (AP) convenor Sunil Mow called for a common platform to highlight human rights violations in the region.

All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union (APPSU) president Kanu Bagang pointed towards the Chakma-Hajong refugee imbroglio facing Arunachal Pradesh, which was encroaching upon the rights of indigenous people of the state.

He said, while opposing AFSPA, efforts need to made to ascertain whether the repeal of the Act could guarantee the safety and security of the people from insurgency.

NEDF convener U Nobokishore while stating that India was a signatory to the UN declaration on rights of indigenous people, lamented that the central government had violated the agreement.

Arunachal Assembly Speaker Setong Sena speaking as the chief guest called for making suitable amendments in laws to prevent human rights violation against the indigenous people of the region.


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