A total of 77,628 people have signed an online petition by Change.org demanding the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland.
According to Change.org, with 1,50,000 signatures, the petition will become one of the top signed petitions on Change.org.
The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958, is an act of the Parliament of India which gives the armed forces of the country the “liberty to kill civilians without any repercussions or legal action”, Change.org said.
The demand for scrapping of the Act comes after 15 coal miners from Nagaland’s Mon district were murdered by Indian special forces on December 4, 2021.
“They were gunned down in the most gruesome manner with no affirmation that these people were armed or posed as threats,” Change.org said on its website.
“Under the guise of ‘maintaining order,’ this act enables the Indian Army deployed in the state of Nagaland to shoot or arrest anybody suspected of being a militant,” it said.
“The atrocities committed by the armed forces far outweigh the good they set out to achieve,” Change.org further stated.
The cries of sorrow and grief ring throughout Nagaland.
While requesting to repeal the AFSPA, Change.org said, “We mourn over the multitude of innocent lives lost over this futile act passed by the parliament. Now is the time to act and come together as citizens of India to bring permanent change for peace. REPEAL AFSPA.”