Mahashweta Devi demands withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from Manipur

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Kolkata, Nov 12 (ANI): Eminent writer and social activist Mahashweta Devi has demanded the immediate withdrawal statutory powers given to army in Manipur.

The security forces in Manipur are armed with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), termed as draconian by rights activists, to tackle insurgency.

Mahashweta Devi said the present century should be named after Irom Sharmila Devi who has been on an indefinite fast since November 2000, demanding the repeal of the Act.

"We demand the immediate repeal of the AFSPA. In Manipur the State police will not be able to kill any one. They can never do...we demand the total freedom for the Manipur people. I feel the 21st century should be named as Irom Sharmila century. She is the first person in the world, who has been on a fast for long time protesting against injustice," Devi said.

AFSPA was introduced to combat armed separatist militancy and protect the army from prosecution. It was later extended to cover the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Opponents of the terror law say the abuses committed under it, including torture, rape and murder, have only fuelled insurgencies in the seven states of northeast, which are connected to the rest of the country by a thin strip of land. (ANI)

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