09 OCTOBER 2011
Srinagar, Oct 8: Members of ‘Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign’ on Saturday said they will apprise the Country about the sufferings of people of Jammu and Kashmir and North-east states due to application of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (APSPA).
Addressing a press conference here, Faisal Khan, member of National Alliance of Peoples Movement (NAPM) said during their 11-day journey which will commence at Hazratbal from October 16, they will create awareness about AFSPA. “We will tell people how this law is against the basic principles of democracy, justice, humanity and Gandhiism” Khan said.
Terming Irom Sharmila as symbol of resistance against AFSPA, he said the “draconian law” has not been revoked even after the recommendations of Government constituted Veerapa Moily and Jeevan Reddy panels.
About their programme, Faisal said the journey to mobilize public opinion for revocation of AFSPA will begin from Hazratbal and culminate at Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital in Imphal on October 27— where Irom Sharmila is nasally fed.
Ravi Nitesh, another member of the Campaign said that it was for first time in history that signature campaign for revoking AFSPA was launched in 21 states on October 2.
“We will submit the signatures to President of India on December 10 and this campaign will also be carried in Kashmir.
During our journey, we will apprise people of other states about the heavy deployment of Army and sufferings of Kashmiris in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added
On the occasion, noted social activist Advocate A.R. Hanjura said for the past 20 years, Kashmiris are suffering due to application of AFSPA, Disturbed Areas Act and Public Safety Act.
“It is heartening to see that Indian civil society is lending support to the cause of Kashmiris. Sensitizing masses about the sufferings due to these laws is need of the hour,” he added.
Dr. Muzaffar Bhat of Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Movement said it is the responsibility of the civil society members from other states to lend support to this campaign.
“We are ourselves victims of AFSPA for the past two decades and we have raised our voice against it from time to time,” he said.
Tanveer Hussain of ANHAD on the occasion said AFSPA “tramples the basic principles of democracy and justice.”
Pertinently, the AFSPA-1958 is applicable to seven states of North East, while as AFSPA-1990 is in vogue in Jammu and Kashmir only. One of the five Working Groups on Kashmir headed by present vice president of India had also recommended revocation of AFSPA in JK, while as two panels constituted to review the Disturbed Areas Act last year are yet to finalize their recommendations