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CPI promises to save Sharmila

Imphal, March 30: The CPI manifesto has promised to save the life of rights crusader Irom Sharmila by repealing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

The party’s campaign committee chairman, N. Mangi Singh, released the manifesto at the party office here today in the presence of the Left and Secular Alliance leaders, which is backing CPI candidate Moirangthem Nara Singh.

Nara Singh is among eight candidates in the fray for the Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency.

The CPI, CPM, Forward Bloc, RSP, JD (S), Peoples’ Democratic Alliance, Shiv Sena and Bahujan Samaj Party have formed the alliance. The NCP and Social Democratic Party of India, which are not members of the alliance, are also supporting Nara Singh.

The CPI has put guarding Manipur’s territory at the top of its agenda and repealing of the army act in second place.

“We will save the life of Irom Sharmila, who has been fighting for repealing of the act for the past many years,” the manifesto said.

It said the CPI would fight for repealing the army act and other “black laws” like the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Sharmila began her hunger strike on November 5, 2000, demanding repeal of the army act after Assam Rifles troops shot dead 10 civilians at Malom near Imphal airport, in retaliation to a militant attack. Though other parties like the BJP and the Naga People’s Front manifestos promised to withdraw the act from Manipur, it is only the CPI that has mentioned the struggles of Sharmila.

The CPI also promised to protect human rights by strengthening the Manipur Human Rights Commission and campaigning against rights violations by the security forces.

On the issue of Manipur’s territorial integrity, the manifesto said the CPI would fight for the amendment of Article 3 of the Constitution to include a provision that Manipur’s territorial integrity would never be disturbed.

It also promised to bring all the militant groups operating in Manipur to the negotiating table to resolve the insurgency problem.

Another promise made was to campaign for enacting an anti-racism law to prevent racist attacks on the people of the Northeast in the national capital and other cities of the country.


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