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On the eve of President's visit, Manipur calls for repealing AFSPA
United NGOs Mission - Manipur (UNM-M) is a network of NGOs in Manipur working on the issues of human rights, peace building and violence against women and children.

Since 2004, UNM-M has constantly been approaching Government of India to repeal Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958 or AFSPA. UNM-M has been engaged in different activities related to human rights and others.

It has requested the President to listen to their demands as the president is supposed to visit the state on April 15. In a letter to the President of India, they have raised 15 points on which they want him to take action.

UNM-M on behalf of the people of Manipur strongly urges the Government of India to

1. Repeal the very controversial Act, the AFSPA from the soil of India so that the true picture of democracy can be maintained.

2. Establish 20 Special Investigation Teams (SIT) to investigate all the 1528 cases of extra–judicial killings and rape under AFSPA/counter insurgency, and take legal measures to ensure justice to the victim families by awarding appropriate punishment to the perpetrators within a period of one year.

3. Stop systematic violence and discrimination against the women and children in terms of rape, killings and trafficking, and punish all the culprits without any delay.

4. Armed forces deployed in Manipur not to be deputed for UN Peace Keeping Force to any foreign country.

5. The vehicles without registration number being used by the paramilitary and Indian Army should be registered and allotted numbers and violators punished immediately.

6. Set up a commission to investigate how the illegal arms got into the hands of individuals or gangs and punish those who are violating the law of the land.

7. Hold political dialogue with armed political organizations by constituting Independent Commission for Conflict Resolution in Manipur and also develop a framework on pre-negotiation, negotiation and post negotiation with special monitoring mechanism with due representation of civil society and NGOs and also by engaging International Community as a Third Party to the negotiation to settle the long standing political conflict.

8. Hold discussion and debate on the proposed India – EU FTA in the Parliament and State Assemblies without which we strongly object signing on the proposed text of the current trade negotiation.

9. Prohibit the implementation of REDD, REDD+ and CDM project in the northeast under Climate Change Negotiation.

10. Illegal Drug Trade: Strictly punish any actors/party operating in Manipur who are committing crimes such as carrying drugs, raising illegal taxes, extortions, kidnapping, carrying arms without a licence and human trafficking according to the International Humanitarian Law and constitutional acts. The precondition would be a strong state police and completely independent and corruption-free judiciary.

11. Political settlement of Manipur State with its own police and self-determination for political, economic, social and cultural Rights and withdrawal of all central governmental armed forces except those of the border control and protection. Access to International financial Support for Self-Determination and control over the natural wealth of Manipur and over the gains from investment in exploiting it, would have to be fixed in the state constitution, together with mechanisms of monitoring the implementation of it. Detainment of Illegal drug and arms smuggling routes and the cartel leaders.

12. Urge immediately to maintain the armed impasse deliberately, the Government of India may be able to further split up the Manipuri Society and any political organisations to an extent of complete meaninglessness in political terms. If the drug addiction in the society of Manipur is only tackled from the demand side, it may reach an extent, which weakens the whole society to the brink of apathy. Drug addiction and HIV among the youth may have an effect close to ethnic cleansing, so that the armed forces of India can subdue Manipur fully during the coming decades. This would imply the de-facto abolishment of democracy and replacement by a military dictatorship.

13. Stop construction of mini or micro Dams, stop exploration of Oil and Natural Gas as well Mineral in the State without Free, Prior and informant Consent from Indigenous Peoples of Manipur. We are also your good office to kindly intervene to bring out a white paper on the natural resources exploration in the state.

14. Revive Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and constitute a committee to examine the functioning of the commission in Manipur at the earliest, which is non-functioning since 9 May, 2010 after the entire member retired. This commission as mandated used to serve and deliver justice to the common people in Manipur.

15. Constitute a policy particularly, victims of women and children on Armed Conflict for their livelihood, education and health and to compensate the victims with dignity. As we can see the petition filed by the Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families, Manipur indicated 1528 extra judicial executions. Unfortunately, most of them (killed) were young and mostly married.

This was stated in a statement issued by U. Nobokishore, Secretary of UNM-M on 13th April.

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