Women, peace and disarmament activist from Manipur, Binalakshmi Nepram has received death threats. The first threat on Oct 18 came from an armed insurgent group for her peace and disarmament work. The second threat came on Oct 20 from “someone who see our voice against racism as a threat to India”. This was stated in a statement issued by Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network & Control Arms Foundation of India.
The organisation has informed Delhi police about these threats in a complaint dated 20 October 2014 and an FIR (First Information Report) case registered under IPC 1960 Section 507 and Information Technology Act 2000 at Safdarjung Police Station in South Delhi.
“These are tragic and intolerant times. To those who try to deter us for our non-violent work for women, peace and security for the Northeast, our message is you can never stop our efforts,” Nepram told The Thumb Print.
Nepram has been in the forefront in working for past 10 years to ensure that women and children survivors of armed conflict in India’s Northeast region get their rights and support to go on living with new found courage after family members killed in conflict. She has also been a leading voice against rising racism against indigenous people of Northeast India who are studying,living and working in different parts of India. A spate of racial attacks against indigenous communities have been reported in India’s capital Delhi and its surrounding states. As many as over 700 cases have been reported to Northeast Helpine 1093 set up by Government after the beating to death of Nido Tania a 19 year old student from Arunachal Pradesh in streets of Delhi onJanuary 29, 2014. Nepram was awarded 2010 Sean MacBride Peace Prize by Geneva based International Peace Bureau and also won CNN IBN Real Heroes Award in year 2011. She was named by London Based Action on Armed Violence as one of “100 Most Influential People in World on Armed Violence Reduction”.
Hailing from a region which is home to longest running insurgency in entire South Asia and presently where over 72 armed groups operate it has been an uphill task for Nepram and our team to work in over 300 villages across Manipur, Tripura and across eight states of Northeast India to ensure that peace prevails in war torn region. Over 50,000 people have been killed in conflict in past five decades and an martial law called “Armed Forces Special Powers Act” is imposed in place for over six decades. Over 45 million people belonging to 272 ethnic communities live in what is known as India’s Northeast Region.
Nepram is at moment at an undisclosed location and all precautions temporarily taken for her safety and security.
Meanwhile, Geneva-based International Peace Bureau(IPB), one of world’s oldest peace organisations and 1910 Nobel Peace Laureate condemns direct death threat on Nepram. A statement issued from Geneva on 27 Oct 2014 read: “The International Peace Bureau awarded the 2010 Sean MacBride Peace Prize to Binalakshmi Nepram for her strong, consistent and courageous efforts for disarmament and peace. IPB is shocked to learn of threats to two of our peace laureates within the period of a few months.We strongly condemn any attack on those who fight for a better world and encourage the police to be alert, to train in gender-sensitivity and to stand up for those who take risks to help others”