Kohima: The extension of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act by another six months in Nagaland has left the people shocked, angry and believing that the Central government does not care much about the Nagaland people’s sentiments.
Even as Nagaland was continuing to see protesters demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Centre on Thursday declared the entire Nagaland as a “disturbed area” for six more months.
As expected, this has not gone down well with the Nagaland people. Naga Mothers Association (NMA) advisor Professor Rosemary Dzüvichü told EastMojo that the extension of AFSPA in Nagaland is a turning point for Nagas.
“With so many deaths and tragedies on record under the impunity of AFSPA and an ongoing investigation for justice on the Oting massacre and killing of civilians, the Government of India is underestimating the voices of the people,” she said.
Dzüvichü added that the Centre’s move is an insult to all who have lived under the abominable law for generations.
The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) which has been demanding the repeal of the Act, is now preparing to “come all out” to protest against the extension of the Act in the state of Nagaland.
AFSPA has been in force in Nagaland for decades. The cry to repeal the Act intensified after 14 innocent civilians were killed by security forces in the Mon district on December 4 and 5 this year.
The Centre’s move to extend AFSPA comes days after the Union government constituted a high-level committee to examine the possibility of the withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from Nagaland.
“The NSF feels that today’s notification from MHA claiming the entire Nagaland state as ‘disturbed areas’ and thereby extending the operation of the draconian AFSPA for another six months as an insult to Nagas at this time of grief,” NSF President Kegwayhun Tep and General Secretary Süpuni Ng Philo said.
According to the student leaders, this move is another attempt by the Centre to “rub in more salt to the already hurtful wounds caused by the botched army operations at Oting.”
The Federation said that given the adamant attitude of the Government of India (GoI), the Naga people must be prepared to face them head-on this new year, adding that the NSF outrightly rejects the notification.
The NSF said that the state government should also reject the notification based on the resolution adopted at the recently concluded special session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA). Reiterating its earlier stand, the NSF said that the Naga people should altogether severe ties with the Indian armed forces and that no attempt of the forces to further their “selfish agenda of sugar coating a severely burnt cake through photo-ops in the guise of humanitarian acts will be entertained in the entire Naga inhabited areas.”
It warned that the NSF would come all out against the notification through a series of democratic agitations, the nature of which will be decided in the emergency presidential council meeting of the Federation.
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