Imphal, Aug 2: Armed Forces Special Powers Act, AFSPA, is yet to be repealed and India has indicated that it will not repeal ‘this discriminatory law’, according to Girin Chetia, Senior Advisor, North East Dialogue Forum and also members of the Forum who spoke to the media persons here at the Conference Hall of Anand Hotel, Imphal East, on Friday.
Addressing a press meet, Girin Chetia and his team also criticised India’s failure to implement the recommendation of United Nations Committee for Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) of the session 69th of March 2007 and Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) of the session 40th of May 2008.
Stating that the Indian Government was not ready to repeal the AFSPA, the North East Dialogue Forum members pointed out that in paragraph 12 of its concluding observation of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimina- tion (CERD), the UNCERD and CESCR observed that AFSPA continues to sanction absolute impunity for serious human rights violation against the predominant indigenous people of Manipur and other North East States (Art 2 (1) (c), 5(b), (d) and (6).
Therefore, the Committed (CERD) respectfully urged the government of India to submit the progress report on steps taken to repeal AFSPA within one year i.e. March 2008.
However, the Government of India failed to submit the report, said Chetia and his team members disapproving the government’s failure.
They further added that the Committee also recommended that this law be replaced ‘by a more humane Act’ in accordance with the recommendations contained in the 2005 report of the Review Committee (Jeevan Reddy Committee) set up by the Government of India. He also pointed out that the UN Committee on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights held on 7-8 May at Geneva had also recommended the Government of India to consider repealing the AFSPA. The North East Dialogue Forum members also disclosed that the Jeevan Reddy Committee’s report, despite the committee’s recommendation, kept a secret by the Indian government, states that AFSPA ‘‘has become a symbol of oppression, an object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high handedness.’’ A major consequence of the proposed course (repeal of AFSPA) would be to erase the feeling of discrimination and alienation, it added.