Nagaland killings AFSPA

The call for repeal of the AFSPA in Nagaland got louder with 16 different organisations of the state coming together at a programme in Dimapur to lament the recent killings of 14 innocent civilians.

The programme was held at the auditorium of Christian HS School, Dimapur.

A total of 14 innocent civilans were killed in Oting village and Mon town by the security forces on Sunday evening.

The Naga organisations in Nagaland have been holding a series of protests against the killings and demanding repeal of the Armed Force (Special Power) Act (AFSPA).

Speakers at the programme, organised by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR), were unanimous in demanding repeal of the AFSPA in Nagaland as well as in the entire northeast region and justice to the victims of the firing incidents.

A public declaration on the Oting massacre, issued through the FNR with the support of 16 organisations, said the public has come together under the theme ‘Memories of Oting and the Nagas’ to stand in absolute solidarity with the Oting village and the Konyak Naga people.

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The declaration demanded immediate removal and repeal of the AFSPA, 1958, and justice for the victims of Oting and Mon killings.

It called for initiation of appropriate disciplinary action against the commanding officer and personnel of the 21 Para Special Forces Regiment involved in the killing of 13 civilians and injury to at least 14 civilians in Oting village on December 4.

The declaration also demanded disciplinary action against the commanding officer and personnel of the 27 Assam Rifles involved in the shooting that killed one civilian and injured 18 civilians in Mon town on December 5.

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It said the tragedies in Oting and Mon present an opportunity for the Nagas to self-reflect and discern together so that ‘our present crisis’ can be publicly redressed.

The organisations also urged the Naga political groups to shed their differences and take positive steps to reconcile, unite in purpose and cooperate in the common interest of the shared Naga historical and political rights.

They appealed to all the Naga leaders – overground and underground – to rise above party politics and self-interests by demonstrating statesmanship and healing leadership using nonviolent means.

The organisations further called for the Naga public to hold their leaders and themselves accountable, and resist all forms of tribalism and other forms of isms that divide the Nagas.

Bhadra Gogoi

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