Declaration of all-India hunger strike against AFSPA on Nov 2

October 15, 2015

PRESS RELEASE by North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS)

NEFIS calls for day-long, all-India hunger strike to commemorate 15 years of Irom Sharmila’s epic fast against AFSPA.

North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS), in discussion with social activist, Irom Sharmila, has decided to mark the 15th year of her heroic struggle by organizing a one-day hunger strike across the country on 2nd of November, 2015. It is to be noted that 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.

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 Hence, NEFIS demands that AFSPA should be repealed from all states, ending the miseries of the people.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