- UT/NET News 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 Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958, the Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio asserted that its withdrawal will consume time, as the process is an act of parliament, and any decision associated with the same will bring repercussions over the entire country in general.
Addressing to mediapersons during the sidelines of an event, Rio stated that even though AFSPA is in place, a system has been put into place under which there will be no Army Operations in Nagaland.
He also reiterated that Centre has constituted a panel to look into the matter and based on recommendations, the controversial law will be lifted-up from areas identified by the Committee. Responding to a query about Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) demanding Rs 1 Crores each for the families of victims, and Rs 50 Lakhs each for those injured, Rio said that he had communicated the issue with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and was thus waiting for its response.
The statement comes on the same day, when the Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane asserted that “appropriate action” will be taken against personnel involved in the botched army operation.
According to Ukhrul Times report, reiterating on AFSPA status, Rio stated, “forensic laboratory reports are yet to be submitted, as the test is being done outside the state and the result is yet to be out. Otherwise, everything is completed.”
However, responding to a query on Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organization (ENPO) demanding the state government for revealing the SIT report to public, Rio stated he will “inquire whether there were provisions for such reports to be made publicly permissible or not legally.” – further added the report.
“It is being investigated thoroughly. Appropriate and corrective action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation,” – stated General Naravane during his annual press conference.
“The regrettable incident that occurred in Oting in Nagaland on December 4 is being thoroughly investigated. We remain committed to the security of our countrymen, even during the conduct of operations. Appropriate action will be taken based on report of inquiry. The inquiry report into December 4 Nagaland incident expected to come out in a day or two,” the Indian Army Chief said.
However, the demand for AFSPA repeal also gained momentum after the tragic incident of December 4, when innocent civilians identified as coal-miners were gunned down by security forces in Mon district of Nagaland.
The 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).
Recently, the Indian enquiry team have visited the incident site, and appealed the people of Nagaland to come forward and assist in the inquiry associated with the December 4 Oting Massacre, through sharing of any information, including – videos, photos or any other material from the original source.
Furthermore, amid the escalating clamour to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 from different quarters of Northeastern regions, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the ‘controversial law’ for another 6 months, referring the entire state as “disturbed area”.
Its pertinent 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, which was about to end on December 31. 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.