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India: Democracy 'Encountered'

India: Democracy 'Encountered': Rights' Violations In Manipur

Manipur, a state in the north-east of India is often in news for all the wrong reasons. The irony, unfortunately, is that there is nothing new in this. Confined to the margins of the mainstream India not only by the state but also by the civil society organisations from the ‘mainland’ for long, the state and its people have been suffering the atrocities committed on them by the armed forces of their own country.

Fake encounters, extra-judicial executions, arbitrary and illegal detentions and brutal crackdowns even on democratic organisations have held sway in the state for so long as to make these seem ‘normal’.

And yet, the recent killing of two innocent citizens in a fake encounter surpasses everything and exposes the impudence of the security forces in not only killing at will but also in defending these killings. The impunity with which the forces murdered a youth and a pregnant woman in a fake encounter in the capital town of the state in full public view on 23 July this year and the ensuing medley is a chilling example of the state of human rights in Manipur.

Manipur is a state described as a part of the 'paradise unexplored' by the tourism department of government of India. It is indeed a paradise, only for the security forces, for the state machinery and for their cronies. The state is living hell for the citizens.

The only encouraging news in ages that has come out of the state is the fact-finding done by an independent citizens’ committee and its report. The team included some very respected and distinguished citizens of the country namely, Dr. K.S. Subramanian (IPS) formerly of the Manipur-Tripura police cadre and currently visiting Professor of the Jamia Millia University, Mr. Sumit Chakravarty Editor of the Mainstream, Ms. Kavita Srivastava the National Secretary of the PUCL, and Ms. Vasundhara Jairath.

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The Committee found severe discrepancies between the official version that justifies extra judicial executions and the truth. The Committee has indicted the state government for its complicity in defending the offenders as well as the union government for its ‘indifference’. The report also outlines the fear psychosis looming large in the state and calls for immediate action for a return to ‘peace, justice and stability’.

The complete text of the report titled 'Democracy 'Encountered': Rights' Violations in Manipur' could be viewed here. It was released in New Delhi on 23 November. Please feel free to circulate the report.

Democracy 'Encountered': Rights' Violations in Manipur

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.


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