Imphal: The Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the United Nations (CSCHR) has asked Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh to join the chief ministers of other northeast states in pressing the Centre and call for the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from the region.

The December 4 killings at Oting in Nagaland’s Mon district has renewed calls to repeal the AFSPA from the northeast.

The CSCHR joined the condemnation against the “indiscriminate killing of unarmed coal mine labourers by the armed forces and the subsequent repression of the protesters that resulted in the death of at least 16 civilians and many injuries” at Oting in Nagaland on December 4.

The civil society group said it was the obligation of the government of India to not only institute prompt, though, independent and impartial investigation but also for restitution of the loss suffered by the families of the victims, caused by the wrongful act of the state.

“The Oting massacre is not an isolated incident but yet another manifestation of the consistent pattern of atrocities committed by the Indian military deployed under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, in the North East region for more than half a century,” a statement said.

In the release, the CSCHR recalled the Heirangoithong massacre, Operation Bluebird (Oinam massacre), Makokchung massacre, RMC massacre, Malom massacre, etc.

It further stated that the unfortunate Oting incident in Nagaland has rekindled the longstanding demand for the repeal of AFSPA, adding that all committees and commission looking into the issue have consistently recommended to repeal it.

The United Nations Human Rights mechanism, including all the relevant treaty bodies, Thematic Special Procedures as well as the Universal Periodic Review have recommended the repeal of AFSPA as it grossly violates the most basic human rights, it said.

The release also said that it was encouraging that the chief ministers of Nagaland as well as Meghalaya have reiterated that voice of sanity to repeal this draconian law. The issue has now echoed in the ongoing Parliament session in New Delhi as well, said the CSCHR in the release.

“However, we are shocked and surprised by the stoic silence maintained by the chief minister of Manipur at this critical juncture. After all, he built his political career using the anti-AFSPA movement,” it added.

The CSCHR further strongly urged the government of Manipur to put its weight behind the repeal of AFSPA in order to fulfill the long-standing demand of the people of Manipur.

Oting-like incident can’t be ruled out in Manipur too: Manipur HAC chief

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