Kolkata, Oct 25: Demanding repeal of the ‘draconian’ Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a team of ‘Save Sharmila Solidarity Cam-paign’ today reached here as part of a nationwide tour for public support.
Led by 21 members of the National Alliance for People’s Movement (NAPM), the ‘Srinagar to Imphal Jan Karvan’ is being backed by a number of civil society groups.
“The journey is planned to spread the universal message of love and peace and to demand justice for Irom Sharmila,” NAPM’s Faisal Khan said.
By fasting for the last 11 years, ‘Iron Lady’ Irom Sharmila’s non-violent resistance has become a nucleus for collective protest against the AFSPA, Khan said.
During the 4,500 km tour, public meetings, distribution of pamphlets, candle light vigils, street plays and school and college meetings are being organised.
Social activists like Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy, Binayak Sen, writer Arun-dhati Roy and a host of intellectuals, litterateurs, artistes and activists have supported the campaign.
In Kolkata, a public meeting was held where people joined a signature campaign demanding repeal of the Act, which is currently applicable in the some Northeast states and Jammu and Kashmir.
The march, which has covered Jammu, Ludhiana, New Delhi, Kanpur, Luck-now, Varanasi, Ranchi and Patna, will culminate in Imphal via Guwahati on Thursday. On December 10, which is celebrated as International Human Rights Day, volunteers of the solidarity campaign will fast at New Delhi’s Rajghat.
Signatures collected from different parts of the country would be put on display and a delegation will meet President Pratibha Patil to seek her intervention in stopping alleged army atrocities under the AFSPA.
Source: The Sangai Express