Irom Sharmila’s epic fast against AFSPA: NEFIS Report on film screening

November 1, 2015

PRESS RELEASE : 29/10/2015

Film Screening in AUD as part of preparations for 2nd NOV all-India hunger strike to commemorate 15 years of Irom Sharmila’s epic fast against AFSPA!

Today North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS), organized the screening of the film ‘Soldiers in Sarong’ in Ambedkar University, Delhi as part of preparations for 2nd November all India hunger strike to commemorate 15 years of Irom Sharmila’s epic fast against AFSPA. Film Screening saw huge participation of students and teachers especially from North East. Irom Sharmila has been on hunger strike against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) since 2nd November, 2000. NEFIS has pledged to wage a nation-wide struggle against this draconian and anti-people law. In Delhi the hunger strike will start from 9 am on 2nd November at Jantar Mantar.

The hunger strike which is being organized across the country is intended to bring the validity of the long abused Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) into question. It should be noted that this draconian Act has been applied to Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the North-East states, and has been serving as a useful weapon for the Indian State in order to curb the democratic rights and freedom of the people of these regions. AFSPA grants special powers to the armed forces; the most controversial being the legal immunity it provides to army officers. AFSPA is an anti-people, oppressive Act as it assigns the armed forces special powers for detaining, using lethal force and entering and searching premises without warrant. Hence, NEFIS demands that AFSPA should be repealed from all states, ending the miseries of the people.

Importantly, AFSPA has been condemned nationally and internationally by all democratic and justice loving people. In order to highlight the ongoing struggle for democratic rights, NEFIS has called upon all the communities of the north east, as well as several democratic and civil liberties organizations and individual civil rights activists across the country to observe the hunger strike on 2nd November. NEFIS’ appeal to support this campaign stems from the fact that the fight against militarization and suppression of democratic rights is not just the concern of the people of North-East. Rather, the struggle against AFSPA is the struggle to uphold the ideals of democracy and freedom for all.

Chinglen Khumukcham

Convener

North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS).