IOSDE has endorsed the following petition concerning heavily militarization within Ukhrul District Headquarters, Manipur and its surrounding areas. Please share this petition and its news with your networks far and wide. The original document on the letterhead of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) and Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) can be viewed, shared and downloaded from here: Petition for the withdrawal of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code and restoration of normalcy in Ukhrul District Headquarters, Manipur (India) and the accompanying Annex here: Annex- Timeline for Petition for the withdrawal of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code and restoration of normalcy in Ukhrul District Headquarters, Manipur (India) and its surrounding areas. Text of petition and endorsements as follow:
Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights
K.N. Sekhose Building, Jail Colony,
Kohima: 797001, Nagaland
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact
An organization of indigenous peoples' movements in Asia
The Home Minister,
Government of India,
Ministry of Home Affairs,
North Block, Central Secretariat
New Delhi, 110001
Subject: Petition for the withdrawal of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code and restoration of normalcy in Ukhrul District Headquarters, Manipur (India) and its surrounding areas.
We are deeply concerned with the continued suspension of freedom of movement and association in and around Ukhrul town with the imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (S.144 CrPC) since the 13th of July 2014. The whole of Ukhrul District Headquarters and its surrounding areas is heavily militarized with the deployment of hundreds of Manipur Police Commando (MPC) and Indian Reserved Battalion (IRB) since the unfortunate killing of Mr. Ngalangzar Malue, a member of the Autonomous District Council (ADC).
Sir, we would like to draw your attention to the facts of the events that led to the protest against the Government of Manipur (see annex I for details):
- On 12th July, the local civil society organizations conducted an on the spot investigation of the killing of Mr. Ngalangzar Malue at Finch Corner, Ukhrul District, Manipur followed by assessment of the situation and subsequently communicated to Naga civil society organisations of no imminent threat of public unrest resulting from the incident. Naga civil society organizations condemned the killing as senseless and hurting the sentiments of the people.
- On 13th July (before daylight), Government of Manipur (GoM) raided the public liaison office of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) and arrested 8 cadres who were present in the office. On the same day, Section 144 of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code (S. 144 CrPC) was imposed in the district Headquarters.
- No organisation or individual has claimed the killing till date.
- The GoM has been sending state armed forces wave after wave without providing any justification to the public.
- Naga civil society organizations have protested against the undemocratic action of the GoM and submitted several memorandums to both the state and central authorities.
Sir, the suspension of freedom of movement and association based on the “apprehension of public nuisance and disturbance of public tranquility” is utterly baseless and arbitrary in this particular case. It amounts to penalizing the public in order to provoke them and create a volatile situation motivated by vested political interests. The civil society organizations are important institutions of any democratic society and has carried out their rightful duty in condemning the killing and assessing the situation for preemptive measures of any perceived social unrest following the incident. We are dismayed that the authorities have completely ignored the plea for restoration of normalcy and for providing substantial facts for the imposition of S.144 CrPC as required by law. This clearly proves that there exist no such circumstances under which S.144 CrPC can be imposed. Further, sending in more armed forces into the area is deepening the distrust and hurt caused by the action of the GoM which amount to waging psychological warfare against the people.
State authorities have also been trying to take the issue out of context by arguing that Manipur does not come under ceasefire coverage area signed between the Central Government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM). However, the imposition of S.144 CrPC has no relationship with the ceasefire or the peace talks. We do not see any reason in the GoM dragging in the issue of ceasefire and peace talks in this context. The issue of peace process should be dealt with at the appropriate level in a democratic manner even if there are disagreements within the government setup. S.144 is a specific law under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 and therefore its application is specific and in accordance with the rule of law, requires providing reasonable material facts of imminent threat (that exists) to public order or tranquility. It is a tool to provide security to the general public and should not be used as a tool for repression of the general public.
Sir, the suspension of freedom of movement and association for more than a month, contrary to the fundamental rights of citizens without any justification is arbitrary and is a matter of serious concern. It is causing harm to the social, economic and mental health of the people in and around Ukhrul District Headquarters.
We the undersigned organizations and individuals appeal to your good office to intervene and uphold the fundamental rights and freedoms based on the state's human rights obligations under national and international laws, and democratic principles and values.
We highly value your position and capacity to address the situation in Ukhrul District, Manipur in consistence with human rights and democratic principles.
With this great sense of urgency, we urge your intervention to address the following demands:
- Revoke Section 144 of CrPC from in and around Ukhrul District, Manipur.
- Withdraw all the Manipur Police Commando (MPC) and Indian Reserved Battalion (IRB) that is stationed in and around Ukhrul District, Manipur.
- Urge the Governments of Manipur to apologize to the people of Ukhrul District, Manipur for its arbitrary actions and causing social trauma.
Thank you for your kind attention!
1. Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR)
2. Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Thailand
3. Jaringan Orang Asal Se Malaysia (JOAS), Malaysia
4. Kirat Youth Society, Nepal
5. NGO- Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NGO-FONIN), Nepal
6. Nepal Kirat Kulung Bhasa Sanskriti Utthan Sang, Nepal
7. Cambodia Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA), Cambodia
8. Kalipunanng MgaKatutubong Mamamayanng Pilipinas (KAMP)/ National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples Organizations in the Philippines, Philippines
9. Peoples Unity Young Society, Nepal
10. Active Society Nepal, Nepal
11. Montañosa Research & Development Center, Inc. (MRDC), Philippines
12. Indigenous Community Support Organization (ICSO), Cambodia
13. African Indigenous People Network (AIPN), Africa
14. Foundation Batwa Rwanda, Rwanda
15. Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), Philippines
16. Incomindios Switzerland
17. Centre for Sustainable Development in Mountainous Areas (CSDM), Vietnam
18. Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples Rights, Philippines
19. Lawyers Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP), Nepal
20. International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), Denmark
21. Kachin Peace Network (KPN), Myanmar
22. PEREMPUAN AMAN, Indonesia
23. TARA-Ping Pu Organization - Taiwan/China
24. Indigenous Knowledge and Peoples (IKAP), Thailand
25. International Organization for Self-Determination and Equality (IOSDE), Sweden
26. Cordillera Women's Education Action Research Center (CWEARC), Philippines
27. Innabuyog, Alliance of Indigenous Women's Organizations in the Cordillera Region, Philippines
28. BAI, National Network of Indigenous Women's Organizations in the Philippines.
1. Thomas Jalong, Jaringan Orang Asal Se Malaysia (JOAS), Malaysia
2. Makiko Kimura, Shimin Gaikou Centre, Japan
3. William Nicholas Gomes, United Kingdom
4. Ripan Chakma, Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha, Bangladesh
5. Romba Marannu Sombolinggi, Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara-Toraja, Indonesia
6. Sari Miettinen, Director, Incomindios Switzerland Switzerland
7. Julius Caesar Daguitan, Secretary General, Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN), Asia
8. Marifel Macalanda, Coordinator, Cordillera Youth Center (CYC), Philippines
9. India Reed Bowers, International Human Rights and Criminal Law Consultant, Sweden
See attached Annex containing accompanying Timeline.