- NET Web Desk
Within hours after the civilian killings in Nagaland, voices for the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 got louder. In an attempt to support the escalating demands for the same, the Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio today called for its repeal, citing it as a “draconian law”.
Rio demanded it’s repeal while attending the funeral of the villagers, who were killed due to the incessant firing of Indian Army on Saturday in Mon district.
The CM further stated that the Act was enforced to tackle insurgency, then why is it not being removed now.
Taking to Twitter, the Nagaland CM demanded that “Nagaland and the Naga people have always opposed #AFSPA. It should be repealed.”
Nagaland and the Naga people have always opposed #AFSPA. It should be repealed.
— Neiphiu Rio (@Neiphiu_Rio) December 6, 2021
He asserted that Centre will provide an ex-gratia amount of Rs 11 lakh each to the victim’s families, and a government job to the next of kin.
Besides, the state government has given an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs each to the families of victims, while Rs 50,000 was given to the injured persons.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has also put forth his demand to AFSPA repeal through his official Twitter handle.
AFSPA should be repealed
— Conrad Sangma (@SangmaConrad) December 6, 2021
Earlier in June, the Centre had declared Nagaland as “Disturbed Area” and further extended the operation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for 6 more months.
The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) has been in force in Nagaland for several decades.
Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976, asserts that once declared “disturbed”, the area has to maintain the status quo for a minimum of three months.
Under this act, in a “disturbed” area, an officer has full power to warn, or open fire and other kinds of forces against the person who is acting against law.
On Saturday last, at least 13 civilians identified as coal-miners were gunned down by security forces in Mon district of Nagaland. Referring the killings as “unfortunate”, the Indian Army confirmed the incident.
“The incident and its aftermath is deeply regretted. The cause of the unfortunate loss of lives is being investigated at the highest level and appropriate action will be taken as per the course of law,” – the Indian Army in its statement said.