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NE students protest at Jantar Mantar seeking Lok Sabha discussion on AFSPA

IMPHAL, December 20: A large number of activists and students from the North-East studying at Delhi protested in front of the Jantar Mantar today demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and further decided to use Delhi as a centre of the campaign and struggle against AFSPA.

A statement of the North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) said the demonstrators demanded a debate on the issue during the ongoing Winter session of the Lok Sabha and to use Delhi as the centre of the campaign and struggle against AFSPA which will be continuously coordinated across affected States and other parts of the country where the campaign will conscientiously reach out to the youth.

Today a large number of students from the region staying at Delhi, individuals and activists of the NEFIS gathered at Jantar Mantar, Delhi demonstrating against the continued enforcement of the draconian legislation Armed Forces Special Powers Act, it said.

Activists participating in the demonstration spoke of the unconstitutional nature of the legislation and how it was being used to suppress the democratic aspirations of people across the country, continued the statement.
It also said that NEFIS representative, Chinglen Khumukcham argued that the legislation`™s enforcement across various States in the country and the unwillingness of successive governments to initiate a debate on the floor of the House on the question of AFSPA`™s enforcement is indicative of the fact that in reality the Indian State readily uses a large section of its armed forces to suppress the voice of its own citizens rather that of foreign infiltrators. 

As the protest persisted, a delegation went to submit a memorandum at the Office of the Speaker (Lok Sabha), demanding an immediate debate on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act before the close of the Winter session which will end on December 22, it said. 

The gathering also vowed that even if the Speaker`™s Office failed to intervene in the matter and help initiate the much-required debate in the Lok Sabha, the struggle for the repeal of this draconian, undemocratic law will persist across the country, it said. 

Source: Imphal Free Press

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