Nagaland Assembly Asks Centre to Repeal AFSPA from NE, Nagaland

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HT Correspondent

DIMAPUR, Dec 20: The special session of the Nagaland Assembly on Monday unanimously resolved to demand to the Government of India to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act (AFSPA), 1958, in the northeast region, specifically in Nagaland, to strengthen the ongoing efforts to find a peaceful political settlement to the Naga political issue.

Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi called the special Assembly session on December 10 after the Core Committee of the Parliamentary Committee on Naga Political issue, headed by chief minister Neiphiu Rio, on December 9 decided to call a one-day special session of the Assembly to discuss the repeal of the controversial AFSPA besides the Naga political issue.

Adopting a five-point resolution, the opposition-less 60-member Assembly vehemently condemned the killing of 13 innocent civilians in the indiscriminate firing by the 21 Para Special Forces of the Indian Army in Oting-Tiru village area in Mon district on December 4, followed by the killing of another innocent person by security forces in Mon town on December 5 and injury to 35 people during the incidents.

The House called for an apology from the appropriate authority, along with an assurance that justice will be delivered by applying the laws of the land on those who perpetrated the inhuman massacre and on those who are responsible for the incident.

“The Naga people have been crying for peace and an early solution to the long-pending Naga political issue. It is of paramount importance that the people’s voice is heard and respected,” the resolution said. The House also reiterated its appeals to the negotiating parties of the Indo-Naga political dialogue to bring the talks to a logical conclusion by reaching a settlement that is honourable and inclusive at the earliest.

The House further appealed to the citizens of Mon district, its civil societies, citizens of the state and mass-based organisations to extend cooperation to the government and its agencies in ‘our collective efforts to demand justice, and to restore normalcy in the interest of all the citizens’.

It also appreciated and supported the demand of the citizens and civil society organisations for repeal of the AFSPA and delivery of justice. The House appealed to all sections to follow democratic norms and non-violence in ‘our collective endeavour towards realisation of peace and delivery of justice’.

The members of the Assembly observed two-minute silence in memory and honour of the 14 people killed.

Participating in the discussion, chief minister Rio noted that there have been many instances of misuse or abuse of the provisions of the AFSPA at the hands of the security forces while carrying out their operations in Nagaland and other parts of the northeastern states, particularly in Manipur and Assam. The latest instance of such abuse was the killing of 14 innocent civilians at Oting and Mon on December 4 in Nagaland, he said.

He said the entire Naga society has been calling for the repeal of AFSPA and that voice is at its loudest today. He added that the Nagaland Assembly is duty-bound and responsible to reflect the voice of the people and carry the aspirations of the masses.

Stating that the desire of the people is to repeal this undemocratic and draconian law, Rio urged all the members of the House to unite in one voice and send out a clear and loud message to the world that the Nagas do not want to see this Act anymore.

“We also need true peace to realise lasting political solution. Impediments like the AFPSA must be removed so that hurdles which are in the way of lasting peace are removed,” he stressed.

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