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Rights activists ridicule Chidambaram’s AFSPA remarks

New Delhi, November 16, 2014 (PPI-OT): Human rights activists of Indian state of Manipur have ridiculed former Indian minister P Chidambaram for his statement that the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is ‘obnoxious’.

Babloo Loitongbam, Executive Director of Human Rights Alert (HRA) reacting to the statement said Chidambaram should have expressed his views when he was in power.

“We appreciate the former minister’s statement against AFSPA, but it is quite surprising that he had maintained a long silence when he was in power. The erstwhile Indian government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had failed to scrap the Act,” he added.

If at all Chidambaram is against AFSPA, he should have taken some steps to repeal the Act when he was the Indian minister, added Babloo. Another Imphal-based rights activist, while belittling Chidambaram’s statement, demanded of New Delhi to honour and comply with the people’s growing campaign and Irom Sharmila Chanu’s epic protest against the oppressive Act.

On Friday, Chidambaram commenting on the grant of life sentence to five Indian army personnel in the Machil fake encounter case in Kashmir had termed AFSPA an ‘obnoxious law’ which had no place in a modern and civilized country.

Indian minister of state for home affairs, Kiren Rijiju and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had criticized Chidambaram for making such remarks when polls were round the corner. Rijiju had termed Chidambaram’s statement ‘opportunistic and unfortunate’.

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