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In the backdrop of the Oting incident, several citizens of Nagaland will organise a march from Dimapur to Raj Bhavan in Kohima on January 10 demanding to completely repeal the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act 1958 in the state.

The protesters will submit a memorandum to the Government of India through Nagaland Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi for the immediate repeal of AFSPA.

Kevitho Kera, one of the organisers of the march, told this correspondent on Wednesday, “We want to convey that the Nagas believe in non-violence and are for resolving things peacefully while demanding the removal of AFSPA from Nagaland.”

The march will be public-initiated and not led by any civil society organisations or political parties.

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Kera said the march is the public’s response against the AFSPA. “The people’s response towards the march has been very encouraging. We expect many people to join it in different locations on the way from Dimapur to Kohima,” he added.

On the memorandum to be submitted, he said they are readying its final draft. “The basic point is we will be requesting for immediate repeal of AFSPA,” he said.

Covering a distance of more than 70 km on foot in two days, the ‘March against AFSPA: Walk from Dimapur to Kohima’ will begin at Supermarket in Dimapur at 6 am on March 10 and culminate at Raj Bhavan in Kohima.

Even as the cry for repeal of the AFSPA grew louder after the Oting massacre in which 13 civilians were killed by the security forces, the extension of AFSPA by the Government of India on December 30, 2021, in Nagaland for another six months came as a rude shock to the people of the state.

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Various sections of the society, including the political parties, from the state, denounced the extension of the Act.

According to reports in the local media, the protest march is being planned by channelling support through various social media platforms aftermath the extension.

Kera said the march will begin in Dimapur in the early hours of January 10 and halt on the way at Piphema for the night. It will reach Kohima on January 11.

Bhadra Gogoi

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