'PM deserves Nobel Prize if AFSPA withdrawn fully from Northeast' says Irom

The government should withdraw this law completely and instead, invest in the development of the Northeast.

Published: 02nd April 2022 03:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2022 03:00 AM   |  A+A-

Human rights activist Irom Sharmila . ( File Photo)

Human rights activist Irom Sharmila . ( File Photo)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Rights activist Irom Sharmila welcomed the Centre’s decision to partially withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from parts of three Northeast states -- Assam, Nagaland and Manipur, and said the “colonial” act should be completely withdrawn from wherever it is imposed in the country. 

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deserve the Nobel Peace Prize if he rolls back AFSPA completely. The Centre will win the hearts of the people who have suffered immeasurably under the Act. It is a colonial legacy and has no place in a democratic country like India,” Irom told The New Indian Express.

“The law is no solution to insurgency. Though I have not personally suffered, I have seen innocent people -- rickshaw pullers, petty shopkeepers -- being brutally assaulted by the Army simply because they may have resembled some insurgents."

Image for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)

"The government should withdraw this law completely and instead, invest in the development of the Northeast. In the name of fighting insurgency, crores of rupees are wasted which could have been utilised for providing education, employment, building of roads and the overall development of the region. It’s time for the government to repeal AFSPA and win the hearts of people,” she added.

She narrated an incident wherein 10 civilians were allegedly gunned down by security forces at a bus stop in Malom near Imphal in 2000, a few days before a peace rally was organised in Imphal in which she was participating. 

The Centre’s decision to partially roll back AFSPA came three months after it constituted a high-level committee to examine the possibility of lifting the Act from Nagaland.



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