Press Statement issued at the Press Meet on 26th March at Press Club, New Delhi.
For six decades the people of Northeast and J&K are leading a miserable life under constant terror, persecution and killings under the boots of the army deployed there in the name of protecting the ‘national security’. All agreements signed by the government of India with the former administrations of these areas are flouted. The government refuses to engage in meaningful discussions to find a political solution to the problems concerning these regions. So what is prevailing is a state of continuous military rule in these areas depriving all democratic rights to the people.
From 1958 the government of India has imposed the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which violates the Constitutional provisions and provides the armed forces rights to violate even the existing laws of the land with immunity. As army is now deployed in the name of training commando forces in Chathisgarh, the conditions prevailing in Northeast and J&K are extended to this region also. So, the danger of deploying army and imposing draconian AFSPA anywhere in the name of suppressing insurgency, ‘left-wing extremism’ or terrorism is increasing in order to suppress all people’s movements by dubbing them as extremist acts.
For the last six decades the people of these regions are struggling continuously against these violations of democratic rights, mass killings, rape and murder in increasing numbers, detention for long periods, and other forms of army brutalities. The indefinite fast by Irom Sharmila in Manipur which has entered the 12th year is a symbol of the struggle of the people of these regions for the repeal of AFSPA and against policing by the army. The situation is so bad that in J&K though the police charged 42 cases of murder, gang rape and murder, rapes and torture happened in six months against army men and FIRs were presented, the central home ministry refused permission to proceed with them sighting the AFSPA. Whenever the people’s movements against army atrocities intensify, the government at a number of times had assured about repealing AFSPA. But the army chiefs have arrogantly overruled all such possibilities. Moreover it is now spread to more areas.
Whenever the atrocities like the ones perpetuated against the Tamil people in Sri Lanka take place, the government of India becomes incapable of doing anything against them as worse incidents of violations of democratic rights and atrocities by the armed forces are taking place within the country. So, all its talks about democratic rights in other countries become hypocritical. In this situation the CPI (ML) along with the struggling forces in these regions demand the Repeal of AFSPA and Stopping of Policing by Army forthwith. We demand political solution to the problems in these areas. The CPI (ML) appeals to all progressive, democratic and left forces to come forward in support of the struggling peoples of these areas. It appeals to all those who are fighting against the draconian AFSPA and army atrocities and all those who support these struggles to join hands and form a platform for joint struggles so that the movement can be continued more forcefully till the government agrees to these demands.
K.N.Ramachandran, General Secretary, CPI(ML)