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Nationwide Protest Repeal AFSPA, Free Sharmila NOW!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

/ Published by VIRTHLI
Nationwide Protest Repeal AFSPA, Free Sharmila NOW!!!

Time: Sunday, May 22 at 10:00am - August 18 at 8:00pm


[caption id="attachment_2209" align="aligncenter" width="496" caption="Paintings by Neogene on the "Spirit of Sharmila""][/caption]

May 22, 1958 Armed Forces Special Powers Act, a colonial legacy used against Mahatma Gandhi, was promulgated initially in the Naga areas of Assam (later divided between 4 states) and later in Mizoram, initially in parts of Manipur and later in all of Manipur. The Ordinance after a brief discussion in the Parliament was endorsed and got the status of Act on August 18, 1958, despite stiff resistance from various quarters who challenged it as a martial and draconian law.

Since then it has been in force in one part or the other of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir (since 1991). Even though continuation of the 'disturbed area' status under the AFSPA in many part of the country is illegal in view of the violation of the mandatory six monthly periodic review directed by Supreme Court in its 1997 Judgement.

Along with the struggles of millions of people against the militarisation and AFSPA, the hunger fast of Irom Sharmila Chanu has crossed 10 years. She has been force fed through her nose by the Government, arrested with charges for attempt to commit suicide, criminalised as a high security prisoner, denying her access to family, friends, supporters and the media.

It is a shame that in this land of Gandhi, a non-violent protester has been subjected to such humiliation for more than ten years. Even as she continues her struggle along with many in the NE and J&K, we appeal to our comrades in human rights groups and people's movements across the country to demand for repeal of AFSPA along with other draconian laws like UAPA, MCOCA, CSPSA and others and resist the increasing militarization of democratic spaces.

1. Public protests, dharnas, relay hunger fasts in your area

2. Organise public meetings and seminars on AFSPA and Irom Sharmila demanding the repeal of AFSPA

3. Organise performances of the one woman play 'Le mashale' on Irom Sharmila by Ojas S.V.

4. Organise painting exhibitions on Irom Sharmila. The exhibition can be downloaded from:

5. Organise film screening programmes on AFSPA and Irom Sharmila. Copies of the video films are available from: email:
insafdelhi(at)gmail(dot)com or
phone: 011-26517814

6. Initiate public signature campaigns and send them to the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, the Law Minster, the Home Minister and the National Human Rights Commission

7. Initiate statements by well known writers, intellectuals, film personalities, theater people, musicians and other artists

8. Any other form of action that you may find appropriate to strengthen the democracy of this country

We request you to publicize your action through the internet and mass media and send the reports of your actions to:

National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) &
National Fish workers' Federation (NFF)
People Union of civil liberties (PUCL)

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