The Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC) on Thursday said that India cannot claim a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) until it repeals the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
It may be recalled that Irom Sharmila appeared in the Delhi Court on October 6 and 7 for the trial of the 2006 Jantar Mantar case where Delhi Police lodged a case against her under section 309 of attempt to suicide. During the hearing, she reiterated her assertion that “she is not committing suicide” but appealing to protect the right to life by protesting against AFSPA.
The SSSC, in a press note, stated that “if India is really serious to be known at global level with powers to take part in policy making and advisory for global issues through UN, it must have first and primary requirement of respecting human rights.”
It is known through reports of government-appointed committees and national and international human rights’ organisations that AFSPA is a discriminatory and unconstitutional act that provides extraordinary powers to security forces in disturbed regions, without asking for any accountability, it stated. These unstopped uses of powers by security forces, it said, have been used in serious situations of violations of human rights. “By this act, security forces start behaving like criminals who have unchecked powers and accountability.”
The SSSC demanded that the AFSPA be repealed from all areas. “There have been many incidents of brutal mass-rapes that have been reported in past and justice still eludes the victims. This has been proved not only by human rights’ organisations but also by government-appointed committees,” the SSSC said.
It further noted that the impunity enabled through AFSPA is “absolutely not required for any responsible, honest and committed security force personals.” “In contrary, it becomes dangerous as such absolute powers divert the normal way of working of personals.” The SSSC further affirmed to continue its efforts in organizing protests and campaigns for repealing the act.