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AFSPA Should be Withdrawn from Manipur: Mahasweta

Posted by Admin on November 11, 2009

Noted social activist and writer Mahasweta Devi today demanded immediate withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Manipur, alleging that security forces armed with draconian powers of the Act harassed people there in the name of curbing insurgency.

"The AFSPA is a draconian law. When I visited Manipur on November 2 this year, I saw immense torture meted out to the common people in the name of curbing insurgency. Common people are tortured and killed without reason," the Magsaysay Award winner told a press conference here.

Referring to Irom Sharmila Devi who has been on an indefinite fast since November 2000 demanding withdrawal of the Act, Mahasweta said, "She is continuing her indefinite fast, but the state and central governments have no sympathy for her."

She also demanded that the government should withdraw forces from the state and allow people to lead a normal life.

Asked whether Lalgarh in West Midnapore where the Maoist-backed tribals were agitating since November last year against "police atrocities" would turn into another Manipur, the Jnanpith awardee said, "This government can do anything."

"Union Home minister P. Chidambaram and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee are working hand in glove," she alleged.

"The government since Independence has done nothing for these poor tribals and their right of protest is also being taken away," she added. Out Look

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