Imphal: Nagas living in Manipur on Saturday staged a sit-in-protest across the Naga-inhabited areas against the Nagaland incident in which 14 civilians were killed by the security forces.

The protests were jointly organised by United Naga Council (UNC), Naga Women’s Union (NWU) and All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) in Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel and Tamenglong districts.

Strongly condemning the killing of the unarmed civilians by the 21 para military on December 4, ANSAM general secretary AC Thotso said, “Nagas have been facing atrocities and terror for so many years. Bloodshed and tears never cease in our land with the promulgation of AFSPA and the subsequent militarisation in the entire Nagas areas.”

“Today, we condemn at the highest level the killing of innocent lives on the pretext of mistaken identity, which is highly unacceptable. And Union Home Minister Amit Shah must retract his false statement in Parliament. It is very unfortunate that such a responsible leader of a big nation is misleading the people in Parliament,” said Thotso.

He said they expect an apology from the Home minister. “We demand for retracting of his false statement and also urge the government of India to end the undeclared war upon the Naga people,” he added.

Reiterating that the Indo-Naga peace talks has been going on for more than two decades, Thotso said, “We expect an honourable, acceptable and inclusive solution but at this juncture we have witnessed this kind of horrific terror again. We would like to urge the government to end this kind of terror against the Naga people, and bring the Indo-Naga peace solution at the earliest.”

UNC president S Kho John also condemned the Nagaland firing incident and extended condolences to the departed souls and the bereaved. 

“We condemned the brutal killing and massacre by the para military forces. And we demand the Government of India to repeal Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) at the earliest,” Kho John said.

The UNC chief said the draconian Act has been in the northeast region for more than 62 years and the Act came upon when the Naga movement was at its peak, and the Government of India under the Prime Ministership of Jawaharlal Nehru was trying to negotiate with the Nagas in the second Naga people convention in 1958. 

While dealing with the Naga people convention, he (Nehru) introduced and imposed AFSPA in the northeast region, particularly to put down the Nagas. Therefore, this Act has been in existence for the past 62 years and it has cost enough human lives, said the president of the UNC, the apex body of the Nagas in Manipur.

Meanwhile, a memorandum to demand for repeal of the AFSPA as a pre-condition to the forthcoming India-Nagaland settlement was also submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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