- NET Web Desk
Asserting their strong condemnation against the heinous crime committed by Indian Armed Forces at Oting Village in Mon district, Nagaland, which led to the death of innocent civilians, the North East Students’ Organization (NESO) has decided to stage protest in all the respective capitals of 7 Northeastern states on December 9.
The move came just hours after the students’ union urged Centre to repeal Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from the Northeastern regions.
Its worthy to note that on June this year, 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 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.
Through a press release issued by NESO on Sunday, the students’ Union expressed their deep shock and anger against the barbaric act of security forces.
“This incident brings back horrific memories of the past where on numerous occasions the security forces massacre, torture the innocent villagers and even rape the women folk for days on end in the name of fighting insurgency.” – asserted the release.
NESO, through their Press Statement expressed their feeling that the centre does not want peace to prevail in North East so that it can continue with its plan to militarize the region and can suppress the voice of the indigenous peoples through military power.
Therefore, demanded the Centre to repeal AFSPA, if it is really concerned about the welfare and well being of the people of North East.
NESO represents the major eight students body of NE – the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF), All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Garo Students’ Union (GSU) and All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU).
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.
The unfortunate incident is basically the repercussion of army operation, which mistook the civilians as insurgents from the Yung Aung faction of the banned militant outfit – National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K).