Student organisations, Civil and Human Rights organisations, Women's organisations and Trade Unions held a day long protest action at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on August 21, calling for the repeal of AFSPA and such black laws and demanding that no part of it should be made a part of any other law.
The AFSPA is a black law that allows the army to suppress democratic rights, make arbitrary arrests, searches, and to carry out with impunity disappearances and murders. In the past, and continuing even today in all those areas where this law has been in force, people have suffered violation of their basic rights and every kind of atrocity at the hands of the army. All over the country, people have demonstrated their opposition and continue to, against the law. Despite this, the government has ignored this demand for repeal of AFSPA.
In 1942, this law was brought in as an ordnance to suppress the "quit India" movement. The same law was adopted by the Indian Parliament in 1958 in the name of AFSPA . In July 1990 this law was applied as the AF (Jammu & Kashmir) Special Powers Act.
Addressing the meeting, the Delhi spokesperson of the CGPI pointed out that such black laws have been used by all the governments since British Rule. In the northeastern part of the country, and in J&K the India capitalist rulers always suppressed by force the struggle for the right to self determination of the people. The Right to Conscience of the people has been suppressed in the name of "unity and territorial integrity."
Our Party demands that AFSPA and such oppressive laws should be immediately repealed wherever they are in force. All military and para-military forces must be withdrawn from civilian areas. All officials responsible for atrocities on people must be exemplarily punished. People must have full freedom of movement, communication and expression - we call for immediate steps to be taken for the resolution of these demands.
The organisations which addressed the meeting included Lok Raj Sangathan, Campaign for Peace and Democracy – Manipur, Manipur Student Association, Janpaksh, Other Media, AISA, People's Union for Democratic Rights, National Alliance for People's Movements, Progressive Democratic Student Union, People's Union for Civil Liberties and other concerned citizen's organisations.