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Rights activists welcome SC observation on AFSPA

By Correspondent

IMPHAL, July 9 - Human rights activists and families of the victims who were killed in alleged fake encounters in Manipur have welcomed the Supreme Court observation on AFSPA.

The apex court has observed that the army or paramilitary forces cannot use �excessive or retaliatory force� even in areas under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

Justice Madan B Lokur-led bench of Supreme Court has also reportedly agreed to have an independent inquiry into the 1,528 cases of extra-judicial killings in the State between 1979 and 2012.

The Court heard petitions filed by Human Rights Alert, (HRA) Manipur and Extra-Judicial Execution Victim Families Association, Manipur (EEVFAM), which have sought the setting up of a Special Investigation Team to probe the cases of alleged fake encounter killings.

HRA�s Executive Director Babloo Loitongbam, speaking to media persons here said that the move of the apex court is a welcome step. �But so far we are not clear what the actual ruling of the court was�, he said.

Reacting to the observation of the Court, a spokesman of Human Rights Law Network accused the security forces of killing innocent people in fake encounters in the name of counter-insurgency operations in Manipur.

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