March launched in solidarity with Sharmila
Srinagar, Oct 16: The campaign against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act was launched from Srinagar Sunday with noted social activist Medha Patkar spearheading the movement seeking rollback of the law notorious for giving immunity to the armed forces even in the face of grave human rights violations at their hands.
The campaign launched by ‘Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign’ group of about 30 social activists from mainland India will cover 10 states of the country before culminating in Imphal on November 10.
The campaign was launched this afternoon by noted social activist Medha Patkar and Magsaysay awardee Dr. Sandeep Pandey from Hazratbal shrine.
Local social activists including APDP chairperson, Parveena Ahangar, MLA Langate Abdul Rashid, J&K RTI activists Dr. Raja Muzafar and Tanveer Khan and others joined the camping at Hazratbal.
Raising slogans “No to AFSPA, Go AFSPA” the activists demanded immediate revocation of AFSPA while travelling in a caravan through different areas of the Srinagar before culminating at Press Enclave here.
“Time has come when draconian and inhuman AFSPA should be revoked,” Patkar told media-persons.
Faisal Khan, the key organizer from the National Alliance for People’s Movement said the campaign is being organized to spread awareness about Irom Sharmila’s protest and to generate public support for her.
Irom Sharmila is the Manipuri civil rights activist, who has been on fast for the past 11 years demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. Several organizations have come together here to launch a India-wide “Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign.”
The campaign will culminate on the International Human Rights Day on December 10. “That day, leading social activists will sit on a day-long fast and then march from India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to submit the signatures collected during the campaign,” said another member of movement.
MLA Langate Abdul Rasheed said that time had come when AFSPA should be revoked from the whole of Jammu and Kashmir.
“There are talks that AFSPA will be revoked from Ganderbal and Budgam districts only. Partial revocation won’t help,” he said.
“Indian civil society should support Kashmiris like Prashant Bushan did,” he demanded.