NEW DELHI, October 2: To bring the demand of REPEAL AFSPA out in the open both to the Government, and the media, the Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA group organized a peaceful protest at Jantar Mantar from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. which collected a large mob of around 700. The meeting was very dynamic and enthused with a live energy of patriotism and nationalistic temperament.
It was presided over by many noted intellectuals and academicians the likes of L. Bablu , dir Human Rights Alert, Manipur, Singhajit, Irom Sharmila`s brother, Prof Bimal Akoijam, Dept of sociology, JNU, Dr Saroj Giri, Dept of Political Science, Delhi University, Ema Ngangidi, leader Meira Paibi, Arvind Gaur, director Asmita Theater group and Binalkshmi Nepram, founder, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network, Thomas Mathur, People’s front , Delhi, Shushita De, general secretary All India Student’s Association, Bamang Tango, chairperson, Arunachal Citizen’s Right, Malini Ahuja, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, Manipur, Biju Samom, president, Manipur Student’s Association, Delhi (MASAD) backed by a large team of volunteers and supporters.
The protest was followed by a march around Parliament Street, Delhi during which slogans such as “Right to life and dignity”, “Repeal AFSPA” etc were chanted with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
This was followed by a signature campaign and Akhu from the famous Manipuri band Imphal pocket singing songs on lives of Manipuri people and the state of frustration and sadness at the failure of the Indian state in their case.
Finally the day ended with a spell-binding performance by the Asmita Theater group on interface in society, on how the differences which were supposed to lend India its rich heritage with multi-culturalism turn people against each other and create divides and the question on the floor was…where does this arise from and where will it end at?!!