Centre Considering Demand For AFSPA Repeal From Nagaland : CM Rio 

 

  • NET Web Desk

Recent killings of innocent civilians across the Mon district of Nagaland due to incessant spraying of bullets by Indian Army has led to extreme rage across Northeastern regions. However, amid the escalating clamour to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday asserted that Centre is now considering the matter, thereby expressed hope for a “positive decision”.

Addressing the Republic Day functions at the Civil Secretariat, Rio said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to probe the killings has made good progress. During the event, he also assured that justice will soon be delivered to the bereaved families.

“We are taking every measure to lessen the pain of the family members, who lost their near and dear ones.” – he maintained.

Maintaining that negotiations between the Naga Political Groups (NPGs) and the Centre over the political issue have been going on in a cordial atmosphere to find a solution, the chief minister said all MLAs have come together and formed an opposition-less government to convey to the negotiating parties that the state expects an honorable, inclusive and acceptable solution.

“We will continue to facilitate and be hopeful of an early solution,” he said.

On December 30 last year, amid escalating demands to repeal the 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”.

“Whereas, the Central Government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of the state of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.” – asserted the concerned home ministry notification.

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.

This notification came just days after the Nagaland Assembly having passed a resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the law from the region.

Its worthy to note that the demand for AFSPA repeal renewed back 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).