People set out on a two-day march demanding AFSPA repeal in Dimapur on Monday morning. Pic by Bhadra Gogoi

The two-day march ‘Walkathon against AFSPA’ from Dimapur to Kohima concluded on Tuesday afternoon with the submission of a representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Nagaland Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi.

The representation, appended by the Global Naga Forum, Naga Students Federation, Naga Mothers Association, Eastern Nagaland People’s Union Dimapur and Konyak Union Dimapur, made an earnest appeal to the PM to repeal the AFSPA from the Naga homeland and the northeast region in toto.

The four-point representation urged Modi to take cognizance of the serious human rights violation committed by the Indian armed forces at Oting in Mon district on January 4 last year by bringing justice to the victims, their families and the injured.

It also appealed to him to recognize the state government’s role in handling the law and order of the State and make provisions so that the AFSPA will not be enforced in Nagaland henceforth.

The protesters demanded that the perpetrators of the Oting massacre in which 13 innocent civilians were gunned be brought under civil court for criminal prosecution. They also demanded immediate and adequate compensation to the families of the victims and the injured.

“Help initiate the process of justice and of righting past wrongs by bringing the perpetrators under civil court for criminal procedures,” the representation appealed.

Greeting the PM on the New Year, the signatories, along with the public of Nagaland and across the Naga homeland, sought his urgent action on the AFSPA and the brutality and injustice that have accompanied its operations in the Naga homeland for the last 63 years.

“Everybody knows what happened last month at Oting, Mon, was not an isolated incident,” the representation said.

It pointed out that among other abominable things, the AFSPA has repeatedly deprived innocent civilians of their right to live, ‘which contradicts the very concept of human rights and the reason for governments to exist in the first place’.

The protesters marched from Dimapur early morning on Monday and reached Kohima on Tuesday afternoon, covering a distance of over 74 km, 60 km of which falls on the hills.

The walkathon was triggered by the Oting massacre of civilians and the extension of the AFSPA in the state on December 30 last year for another six months.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com