- NET Web Desk
Recent killings of innocent civilians across the Mon district of Nagaland due to the incessant spraying of bullets by Indian Army has led to extreme rage across Northeastern regions. Amid the escalating clamour to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on December 30, 2021 once again extended the controversial law for another 6 months in the entire state of Nagaland.
Responding to the move and in a bid to mark their rage, the residents hailing from the northeastern state of Nagaland have now decided to march from Dimapur to Raj Bhavan in Kohima on January 10, demanding an immediate repeal of this act.
According to TOI report, these protestors will submit a memorandum to the Centre through Nagaland Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, demanding immediate repeal of AFSPA.
Covering a distance of over 70 km on foot in two days, the “March against AFSPA: Walk from Dimapur to Kohima” will commence from Supermarket in Dimapur at 6 AM on March 10 and culminate at Raj Bhavan in Kohima.
However, the protestors will halt on the way at Piphema for the night and will reach Kohima on January 11.
This march will be fully-initiated by common masses, and will not be led by any civil society organizations or political parties, informed the TOI report.
Its worthy to note that on June 2021, 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. But the tragic incident of December 4, when innocent civilians identified as coal-miners were gunned down by security forces in Mon district of Nagaland once again renewed the voices for AFSPA repeal.
This unfortunate incident is basically the repercussion of botched 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).
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.