Apunba Lub sets 'deadline' for AFSPA repeal
Protest groups in Manipur said on Sunday they have asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to repeal the controversial anti-terror law Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) by December 10, failing which they would intensify campaign for its withdrawal.
"We have asked the Prime Minister to repeal the AFSPA by December 10, failing which we shall resume a vigorous mass movement across the state," Apunba Lup spokesman Y Devadutta said.
"The people of Manipur want the act to be repealed and the Prime Minister's assurance that it will be reviewed by a committee within six months is not acceptable to us," he said.
The Apunba Lup has announced its decision to boycott teaching of Hindi language in schools and colleges as part of the protest.
A delegation of the Apunba Lup met the visiting Prime Minister in Imphal on Saturday night. Singh, who arrived in Manipur on Saturday, told a public rally there could be amendments to the controversial act, saying a review committee was being set up to consider concerns of rights violations by the military.
"I sympathise with the legitimate aspirations of the people regarding the act. We have set up a committee and it will suggest checks and balances in the act or replace it with a more humane law, which takes into account your legitimate aspirations and national security concerns," the Prime Minister said.