United Naga Council lambasts AFSPA imposition in Naga areas of Manipur
Representational Image Credit: Representational image

Imphal: The United Naga Council (UNC), an apex Naga civil body, has vehemently opposed the continued imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, in Naga areas despite peace and normalcy in the Naga-inhabited areas for long.

The UNC stated that the extension of the AFSPA to Manipur, excluding the 19 police stations in Imphal Valley for another six months with effect from October 1, is ‘arbitrary, biased and discriminatory’.

The Naga body alleged that the exemption of areas under 19 police stations in Imphal Valley, which has been gripped by violence and lawlessness since May 3, 2023, in sharp contrast to the AFSPA coverage in the peaceful Naga areas in the state, is highly questionable.

“The routine extension of the draconian law in Naga areas, in spite of peace and normalcy that have prevailed since the signing of the Indo-Naga Ceasefire on July 1, 1997, and also the Framework Agreement between the Government of India (Gol) and the NSCN (IM) on 3rd August 2015 reflects lack of sincerity of the Gol and the Government of Manipur with regard to the Indo-Naga peace process,” the UNC said.

It further stated that while the world at large is watching the progress of the Indo-Naga peace talk at the highest level with the return of peace and normalcy, the Naga areas have been languishing under the draconian AFSPA since 1958.

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The blatant and continued imposition of AFSPA has further sullied the democratic credentials of India and has become a hindrance to the peace process and its progress in the subcontinent, it said.

The Naga civil body further urged the Government of India to immediately withdraw the same from the Naga homeland and restore confidence and goodwill in the Indo-Naga peace process. The present unrest in Manipur due to the ethnic crisis between the Meitei and Kuki communities has resulted in 170 deaths and displaced nearly 60,000 people.

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