- NET Web Desk
Recently, the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) asked the state government to withdraw the ‘disturbed area’ status from Manipur.
The following has been cited on the grounds of various human rights violations.
In a recommendation to withdraw the ‘disturbed area’ status, the MHRC directed the chief secretary, DGP and Home Special Secretary to submit report of the action taken within three months.
A PIL has been filed by Th Suresh, Chairman of Forensic Study and Placement, on the aforementioned report.
The complainant approached the commission recommending the lift of AFSPA by way of revocation of the ‘disturbed area’ status from the state.
Based on the complaint, it had taken up the proceeding in June 2020 by asking the state government to submit its respective response.
However, despite receiving repeated reminders, the state failed to respond to the complaint.
In the course of the proceeding, the Commission said it has underscored the recommendations submitted by committees formed by the Centre who pointed out the adverse impact of the imposition of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 in Manipur and other northeastern regions.
Moreover, the Commission also noted the various protests by the public against the AFSPA.
Khaidem Mani, acting chairperson of MHRC, said the Commission has recommended for withdrawal of the ‘disturbed area’ status due to gross violation of human rights committed by security forces under the shadow of AFSPA.
Terming AFSPA as a “draconian and an outdated” law, Khaidem Mani asserted, “It is an act to politically oppress the people of Manipur. Such acts do not suit a democratic country.”
The MHRC chairperson stated that repealing AFSPA will be a great initiative towards bringing a political settlement to the insurgency problem existing in the state.
Promulgation of ‘disturbed area’ status allows enforcement of AFSPA, that allegedly gives impunity to armed forces.
It is to further noted that in December 2020, the Manipur Government has extended the “Disturbed Area” status in the entire state, except in Imphal Municipal areas for a period of one year.
The decision was accordingly taken due to violent activities of various insurgent groups operating in the state.
Because of such disturbed scenario, use of armed forces proved to be more significant then.
The Act has been imposed in the state since 1980, that extended with the coming times.
In August 2004, AFSPA was lifted from seven assembly segments of Imphal Municipal areas during the Okram Ibobi-led Congress government.
The decision came after massive protests rocked the state, after Thangjam Manorama was raped and murdered, while been in the judicial custody of the Assam Rifles.