PUCL Bulletin, Dec 2000

Letter from Manipur:

Dear Colleagues,
I am reproducing some extracts from the Imphal Free Press of an incident which has shook Manipur for the past one week.

"10 persons, most of them believed to be civilians, were shot dead by personnel of the Assam Rifles (AR) at Malom Makha Leikai, Boroi Makhong, following a bomb attack on an AR convoy along the Tiddim road (Airport road), on Nov.2...a bomb, previously planted by suspected insurgents exploded on the road-side at around 3.20 pm while a three vehicle convoy of the 8th Assam Rifles was passing by, towards Imphal. Following the explosion the AR troops got down from their vehicles and began firing towards people who were running for cover following the explosion. 8 persons, including middle aged woman, were killed at the bus stop, while 2 died near a culvert inside the village.
Soon afterwards the whole area was cordoned off and the press and even the police was not allowed to enter for sometime.

"There was heavy presence of troops in the area till late night without any civil police personnel. Search operations were carried out without any women personnel. In the meantime one university professor, Amar Yumnam, was detained and hit for protesting against the killings along with other womenfolk".

Manipur PUCL has issued a press release demanding a judicial probe, a copy of which is also sent included here.

From today Manipur has been declared 'proclaimed area' under the Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act, 1911. An order to the effect was issued on Oct 25 from the secretariat, home department.
The notification reads, in part: "Whereas the Government of Manipur is of the opinion that holding of public meetings, public discussions, and issue of provocative statements/speeches by certain organizations and individuals in the entire state of Manipur is tantamount to the promotion of seditious activities, this Act will remain in forced for 6 months by the order of the Governor."

We have written to the Press here (see below). There is a war like emergency in this State. The situation needs immediate action

N. Vijaylakshmi,
Manipur PUCL


Dt. 7.11.2000

PUCL Manipur stands thoroughly disgusted with the barbaric act of Assam Rifles on the innocent civilians on Nov. 2. While conveying the deepest condolence to the bereaved families, the PUCL demands that the state government should immediately order a judicial inquiry and bring forth the guilty personnel to book.

The PUCL stands committed to the repeal of Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), and other black laws.

The PUCL is convinced that such kind of heinous acts by our own "security forces" in the name of insurgency under the cover of such Black Laws has only alienated the people of this land. We cannot but feel that the central government is only interested in suppression by brutal force rather than finding a solution. We also condemn Manipur being declared a "Proclaimed Area" which is meant to suppress the freedom of expression.

It is tantamount to denying the fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India. We urge the democratically elected government of the State to revoke this Black Law with immediate effect.

Dr. N. Vijaylakshmi Brara
Manipur PUCL

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