Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio has termed the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as a draconian law.
“AFSPA is a draconian law, which is condemned worldwide,” Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio said.
Rio was speaking at the funeral services of 13 civilians who were gunned down by security forces at Oting in Mon district of Nagaland.
The Nagaland chief minister further said that the ‘draconian’ law – AFSPA should be immediately removed from the state.
“The state of Nagaland wants that the AFSPA be removed immediately,” CM Neiphiu Rio said.
However, he added that the Centre has been maintaining that AFSPA cannot be removed from Nagaland.
“The Centre has said that it cannot remove AFSPA from Nagaland,” the chief minister said.
“There is no point of continued implementation of AFSPA in Nagaland. There is peace in the state,” added Rio.
“We are asking central government to remove AFSPA from Nagaland.This law has blackened the image of our country,” he said.
This statement from the Nagaland chief minister comes at a time when there is a renewed demand for withdrawal of AFSPA from the Northeast.
Several civil society organisations (CSOs) in Nagaland have also renewed their demand for withdrawal of AFSPA.
The Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) said that AFSPA, by its very nature, is “anti-peace” and the state government must recommend its repeal and removal of armed forces from civilian areas.
“…may our voices of protest be heard against the continuing militarization and killings under AFSPA,” Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) president Abeiu Meru said.