- NET Web Desk
The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has condemned the “overarching approach” of the central government in extending the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 across 9 districts of Nagaland.
According to a press release issued by its President – Kegwayhun Tep and General Secretary – Siipuni Ng Philo, the concerned move made by the Centre under the pretext of “Law and order” problem in major parts of Nagaland federation is a continuous attempt to paint the state as a land of lawlessness and chaos.
“The world is witness to the fact that Nagaland is a beautiful state inhabited by peace-loving citizens which is contrary to what it is made to look like by the impugned order. The history of excesses committed by the armed forces upon the Naga people under the cover of AFSPA calls for condemnation from all right-thinking citizens of the world,” – the release further reads.
Besides, the federation has also reiterated its stand that the Naga People do not merit the draconian Act which has empowered the Indian Military and Para-military war machines with unlimited powers to extend evil claws and judicial impunity to arrest, torture, and kill.
Referring the move as “unconstitutional”, the NSF asserted that it will only encourage abuses and serious human rights violations by the armed forces acting on behalf of the state.
Therefore, it appealed the central government to objectively assess the situation and not act upon biased reports from their agencies.
It asked the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) take the right steps forward to ensure that the controversial law is repealed once and for all from the entire Naga homeland.
The federation affirmed that it will continue to endeavour to ensure that the AFSPA is repealed or completely lifted from the entire Naga homeland.
“Towards achieving this end, it appealed to the Naga people to extend non-cooperation to the Indian armed forces or paramilitary forces until such time the evil law is in operation,” – added the release.
Its worthy to note that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) across nine districts of Nagaland, including – Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek, Peren and Zunheboto from October 1, 2022 to March 30, 2023.
According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the centre has also extended AFSPA in the areas falling within the jurisdiction of 16 police stations in four districts of Nagaland including five police stations in Kohima district; six police stations in Mokokchung district; Yanglok police station in Longleng district; and four police stations in Wokha district.
These 16 police stations comprise Khuzama, Kohima North, Kohima South, Zubza and Kezocha police stations in the Kohima district; Mangkolemba, Mokokchung-l, Longtho, Tuli, Longchem and Anaki ‘C’ police stations in Mokokchung district; Yanglok police station in Longleng district; and Bhandari, Champang, Ralan and Sungro police stations in Wokha district.
“Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak. Phek, Peren and Zunheboto districts in Nagaland and the areas in Nagaland falling within the jurisdiction of i) Khuzama, Kohima North, Kohima South, Zubza and Kezocha police stations in Kohima District; ii) Mangkolemba, Mokokchung-l, Longtho, Tuli, Longchem and Anaki °C’ police stations in Mokokchung District; iii) Yanglok police station in Longleng District; and iv) Bhandari, Champang. Ralan and Sungro police stations in Wokha District are declared as ‘disturbed area’ under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for a period of six months with effect from October 1, 2022, unless withdrawn earlier,” – the notification further reads.
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.
The demand for revocation of AFSPA gained momentum from different quarters of Northeastern regions, 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.
Besides, 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).