Kohima: A 6-hour total shutdown has been called by the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) across Naga inhabited areas condemning the killing of 13 people by the Indian Armed Forces in Nagaland’s Mon district on Saturday. The bandh commenced from 6 AM and will continue till 12 Noon on Monday.
Through a statement issued by its President Kegwayhun Tep and General Secretary Süpuni N Philo, the federation said that the indiscriminate firing by security forces upon the peaceful civilians is not unprecedented in the Naga homeland as the Centre has been trying to suppress the legitimate people’s movement through military means even after realizing that the same will not “reap in the desired dividend”.
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The Federation has appealed to the general public to refrain from any sort of merry making and festivities for the next 5 days and that it will be observing 5 days mourning from Monday onwards.
NSF also urged the people to refrain from participating in Hornbill Festival and show support towards the cause by giving the event a miss. “This is not in defiance of any forces but merely a symbolic expression of resentment towards the government that has failed to protect its own people,” it said.
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The federation further appealed to the Naga people to extend its fullest support and co-operation towards the Federation, despite the inconveniences that might come along with it, in the interest of protecting and upholding the larger interest of the Nagas and to ensure that justice is done to those mercilessly massacred Naga citizens.
What is exempted?
Medical and other emergency services, Police, weddings with the commuter carrying a copy of the wedding card and other emergency services and students appearing for various exams are exempted from the purview of the bandh.
The federation warned all Para-Military forces and armed forces not to make any movements during the duration of the bandh.
What are its demands?
The Federation demanded that a Court Monitored Committee be set up by the Government of India to be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to conduct fair and impartial probe into the incident and ensure that those responsible for the “heinous crime is brought to justice without any delay whatsoever”.
Till a report of the committee is tabled by such a committee, it directed all Federating Units and Sub-ordinate bodies of the federation to severe ties with any Indian armed forces until befitting punishments are awarded to the culprits involved in the barbaric act.
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Saying that it sees no rationale as to why the entire Naga inhabited areas in India is tagged as ‘disturbed area’ and the draconian AFSPA is thrust upon its people when the Indo-Naga political dialogue held at the Prime Minister’s level is at a very crucial stage.
“The prevailing law and order situation in the Naga inhabited areas does not merit the Act which is only been as a tool for psychological warfare against the Naga people. It is only because of AFSPA that the armed forces continue to operate with impunity while forgetting all values that inhibits a sober soul,” it said, further demanding the Centre to immediately withdraw the atrocious AFSPA from all Naga inhabited areas and repeal the Act without delay.
It also demanded that a special Assembly session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly be convened at the earliest to adopt a resolution for revocation of the controversial AFSPA.
Furthermore, the federation demanded that befitting compensation is announced by the government to all the victims of the Oting massacre and to those injured in the incident. “No amount of money can placate the sentiments nor account for the bloods,” it said. The same will go a long way in ensuring that those dependent on the unwilling victims are not further deprived of their livelihood, it added.
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