SSSC WELCOMES NHRC VISIT
27 October 2013. New Delhi
For the NHRC camp at Imphal, Manipur, Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC) congratulates NHRC team and people of Manipur. SSSC in its statement welcomes the visit and said that this visit is a partial victory of all efforts to repeal AFSPA.
'Visit by NHRC must be seen as taking cognizance of people of Manipur who are affected by AFSPA. Though we know that it is too late and we doubt that this visit will hardly bring any concrete result, but we must see it in positive manner and a step that took place after lot of efforts by lot of groups, campaigns, organizations and individuals.
We, as a campaign believes that even a small step from any side towards addressing the human rights violations in Manipur, must be seen as a step ahead in our continuous struggle for establishing democratic values and maintaining peace.
We also see that with the demand of Repeal AFSPA, visit of NHRC to Manipur and to meet with people of Manipur and Irom Sharmila, was one of the demand of SSSC and it was for a particular reason that NHRC is a prime agency of looking towards human rights and we, the people must be capable to make it accountable to took cognizance of violations of rights, and with the sense of this responsibility, we tried to put all the pressure upon it'
It is to note that SSSC continuously tried to raise the voice before NHRC and urged it to visit Manipur regarding human rights violations. Apart from the various activities of protest, signature campaigns and awareness among people, SSSC never gave up its efforts to put pressure upon NHRC.
It was SSSC RTI, filed by Ravi Nitesh, a core member of SSSC that revealed that NHRC has not conducted any official visit of Manipur in last 11 years (from the year 2000 to 2011) regarding human rights violations there or to meet Irom Sharmila. This revelation got place in North East media and even Aruna Roy, activist and the then member of National Advisory Committee expressed her concern over this.
SSSC delegation that includes Megsesey awardee Dr Sandeep Pandey, Core member Devika Mittal with other delegates met with NHRC chairperson regarding AFSPA, Irom Sharmila and submitted a memorandum to him with the demand to investigate cases of human rights violations and to visit Manipur to meet Irom Sharmila and people of Manipur. During this delegation meet, NHRC chairperson took cognizance of the memorandum and promised to address the issue.
SSSC team had followed up with NHRC through meetings and letters.
First time in its history, NHRC had discussed the SSSC memorandum before its group where various opinions including visit of Manipur, reviewing and studying AFSPA etc were discussed.
SSSC told that though it is actively engaged in spreading awareness about Irom Sharmila's fast and cases of human rights violations in AFSPA imposed areas and with this awareness among people on one side, and with the continuous pressure upon government through protest, sit-in, letters, newspapers articles, delegation meetings etc on other side, SSSC will take more steps in coming future to put pressure for the demand of repeal AFSPA.