Anti-AFSPA caravan reaches Jammu

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Jammu: The “Jan Karwan” (mass caravan) out to garner support for revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), on Monday reached the winter capital, with the activists seeking public support for withdrawal of “draconian” laws in Jammu and Kashmir and North-East.
The activists were welcomed by the Progressive Students’ Alliance (PSA) and Forum for Democratic Rights (FDR) at Jammu University campus.
The activists of the “Save (Irom) Sharmila Solidarity Campaign”, who have been seeking amendments to what they called “draconian” AFSPA also staged a dharna in JU campus.
The activists threw light on the life and struggle of Irom Sharmila, who has been sitting on hunger strike for the past 11 years demanding the withdrawal of AFSPA.
Around 200 students participated in this programme and expressed their viewpoint, besides pleading for withdrawal of “draconian laws” from Jammu and Kashmir. The students said the J&K had been “worst sufferer” of these “black laws” and time has come to repeal or make these laws more humane.
Extending full support to the campaign, the PSA activists appreciated the role of various organizations for bringing the issue of withdrawal of AFSPA into the forefront. It also supported the demands listed in the pamphlet of the campaign. The PSA activists also sung a song supporting the people’s movement in various parts of India.
They also made a fervent appeal to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to meet Irom Sharmila and also address her “genuine demands” at the earliest.
On Sunday, the campaign was flagged off by the noted civil rights activist Medha Patekar along with Dr Sandeep Pandey in Srinagar on Sunday. Patkar had led the protest in Srinagar demanding that the AFSPA should either be repealed or made more humane.
The caravan, after covering 4500 km distance, will reach Imphal on October 26. From Jammu, it will travel through Ludhiana, Panipat, New Delhi, Aligarh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Ranchi, Patna, Malda Town, Kolkatta, Guwahati and Dibrugarh.

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