A tribute programme for the Oting tragedy was held at the Capital Cultural Hall, Kohima, on Thursday.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, in his memorial message, said the Oting incident was a misuse and abuse of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. He added that the Act is violative of human rights and the Naga people have opposed it for decades.
Rio expressed his condolences to the bereaved families of the 14 victims and urged the public to remain strong and courageous, and appealed not to retaliate. He said that it is the time to defeat violence with non-violence, and asked the people to shun violence and show the nation that AFSPA is not needed.
He added that the society cannot allow any force to derail the hard won peace process. The chief minister hoped that the country and the rest of the world will not only understand the Naga story but also the want for lasting peace.
Former CM TR Zeliang called for repeal of AFSPA stating that it has brought only pain and suffering. He said that no amount of reason can justify the killing of innocent civilians and urged the government to leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Zeliang said that when the Nagas are anticipating the final breakthrough in the Indo-Naga political issue, the Oting incident had come as a rude shock.
Kohima Konyak Union president H Angnyei Konyak shed light on the Oting incident and called for the revocation of AFSPA. He also spoke about the alleged misinformation being spread by the media.
As a mark of tribute for the Oting victims, musical performances were presented by Kewhira Strings Quartet; Nagaland Conservatory of Music Choir; Sanctuary Choir, Union Baptist Church; Chubatola Imsong; TaliAngh & friends; Konyak Youths (East Story); Bozio Nienu and Ameü ÜsouZao Choir.
Chairperson of the programme, Senior Pastor, Kohima Ao Baptist Church, Rev Sentisashi Aier gave the introductory remark. Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton delivered the vote of thanks.
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