Imphal: The United Naga Council, an apex body of Nagas living in Manipur, has questioned the intention of the government’s decision on selective lifting of ‘disturbed areas’ status only from the valley areas under Armed Forces (Special Powers )Act 1958.

In a statement, the UNC said that it is a deceptive move to show that it is doing something good, though no substantial change in military mobilization can be seen from such move in the area and that it has no relevance to the affected people.

According to the UNC, the usual discriminatory attitude of the state government has again been laid bare for the whole world to see.

“Though New Delhi alone has the power to make decision to affect any changes on the matter, the input(s) from the state government of the day is crucial and hence lifting of Disturbed Areas Act selectively only in the valley areas of the state points to the fact that hill areas will continue to be under AFSPA and endure the pain and agony of chauvinistic onslaught of the security forces,” said SK Stephen, information and publicity secretary of UNC, in a statement.

Further, the Naga apex body questioned the rationale of the government of not lifting AFSPA 1958 in the hill areas of Manipur when ceasefire agreement between the Government of India and NSCN is in place since 1997, and Suspension of Operation with the Kuki Chin group also is effectively being implemented.

“Any Justification in this regard will defy any logic and will not stand the test of time. Hence, it is the best of time to seriously engage in dialogue and sincerely address all issues for a lasting political solution in the region,” it stated.

It further stated that after New Delhi had withdrawn the AFSPA, 1958 in parts of the three North Eastern states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur on March 31, 2022, the chief minister of the three states have expressed appreciation to the BJP-led government at the centre by profusely praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the perceived good gesture.

The apex body then urged the Centre to desist from indulging in usual discriminatory action and repeal the out-dated draconian law wherever it is being promulgated. 

Such archaic law that has its roots from the colonial period has no place and is not needed in the modern democracy, it added.

Also read: Manipur Int’l film festival takes off, to continue till April 6

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