1528 by Rohit Saha
signed by Rohit Saha
Formerly known as “The Kingdom of Manipur”, a Princely State under the British, Manipur is now on of the eight norh eastern states of India. The premier river here is known as Imphal, after which the capital was also named.
Manipur is flanked by Nagaland to his north, Mizoram to its south, Assam to its west and Myanmar to its east.
The valley, which is surrounded by nine hills, is also referred to as “The Jeweled Land” owing to its oval shape.
However, since the late 1980s, Manipur was considered and termed as “disturbed state” after a brutal cycle of insurgency and counterinsurgency
In August 2016, after a 16-year hunger strike protesting the removal of the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), civil rights activist and poet, Irom Sharmila broke her fast. She began in the year 2000, in response to the unjustified killing of ten people at a bus stand by the armed forces in a village called Malom. This episode came to be known as Malom Massacre.
The Act, as it has been enforced in Manipur – often described as a ‘disturbed state’ – allows the military to execute anyone on the mere suspicion of terrorism. It has recently been claimed that there are well over 1528 people who have died in such Extra-Judicial killings carried out by the Armed Forces between 1979 and 2012.
Rohit Saha aim is to understand the nature and scale of these fictitious clashes that are called ‘fake encounters’, keeping the landscape as witness.
By volunteering for the EEVFAM (Extra-Judicial Execution Victim Families of Manipur) – an organisation formed by the widows of victims – Rohit Saha gained insight and gathered evidence about the situation at hand. By going through victims’ testimonies as well as witness accounts, he was able to shape my current perspective – a photobook of my personal experiences.