ANSAM organise candle light vigil at Senapati in remembrance of Oting massacre

Senapati: All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) in collaboration with the Senapati District Students Association (SDSA) organised candle lighting at Traffic Point, Senapati bazaar which was held under the aegis of the Naga Students Federation (NSF).

The candle light vigil was held in solidarity and paying homage to the victims of the infamous killings of 14 innocent Naga civilians by Indian security forces on December 4 & 5, 2021 at Oting village under Mon district, Nagaland.

Speaking at the gathering, Asha Wungnam, President, Naga Women’s Union (NWU) stated that the gathering was not of happiness or joy but to denounce the merciless killings perpetrated by the Indian Armed forces as well as the shedding of tears from the family members of the ill fated victims on this day the previous year. The Naga women leader asserted, “We have forgiven but not forgotten the incident.” Asha Wungnam further mentioned that the supreme sacrifices made by the victims would be handed down to the younger generations adding their sacrifices would never go in vain and prays to let their souls rest in peace.

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AC. Thotso, General Secretary, All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) stated that it was on this day in 2021 where the promising youth from Konyak tribe in Oting village, Nagaland were massacred by Indian Security Forces. The student leader paid the highest respect and honour and homage to the departed souls as well as to all the brother/youth who were maimed and mangled in the terror unleashed by the Indian Security Forces the previous year. The student leader also stated that they are aghast by the wilful delaying of justice to the victims by the Govt of India who expressed resentment to the Govt of India the indifference attitude towards the voices of the Naga people from across the land demanding for repeal of draconian law of AFSPA, 1958. The student leader sought to “Give peace a chance.”

A one minute silent prayer was offered in remembrance of the ill fated victims of Oting at the later part of the program. Candle lighting was also organised at Karong bazaar organised by the Poumai Naga Students Union (PNTM). A one minute silent was offered by the gathering to the victims of the incident which was led by Rev. R.L. Tennyson, Pastor, Khabung Karong Baptist Church.

In a press release issued from the student body, the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur along with apex Naga CSOs in the present state of Manipur observes this 4th December 2022 with deep anguish remembering the infamous Oting Massacre; killing 14 innocent Naga civilians by the Indian Special Forces, the 21 Para commandos at Tiru-Oting road, Mon District, Nagaland on 4th & 5th December 2021. The student body stated, “We offer our highest honour and paid homage to all the departed souls. Our heart also goes out to all the youth of Konyak Naga who had suffered maimed and mangled during the dreadful terror tragedy unleashed by Indian state forces.”

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The release mentioned that they are aghast by the wilful delay of justice to the victims of the most condemned terror act by the government of India. While expressing their resentment towards the indifference attitude of the government of India to the voices of the Naga people from across the Naga areas demanding the repeal of AFSPA, 1958 from Naga homeland.

“Nagas are peace lovers and have been living in peace in its own system since time immemorial but problem arose only when the Indian occupation came about in our land,” it mentioned. Imposition of a Draconian law the so called AFSPA in Naga areas and tagged under “disturbed areas” remains ever a tragedy for civilians and thereby breach the peaceful atmosphere in the villages. Promulgation of AFSPA, 1958 in the North eastern state is the mother of all adversity resulting with Army atrocities against the innocent public in the region repeatedly. Continuation of such draconian law will bring nothing good for both India and Nagas. “AFSPA has only brought India to the international attention with its shameful records on human rights and value for human lives. It asks to stop all sorts of attempt to suppress and oppress the Naga people’s aspiration and movement for self-determination through militarization and further trying to criminalize their political issue. This belligerent and atrocious conduct of the State agencies itself is contrary to the spirit of the ongoing Indo-Naga ceasefire and the ongoing peace talks. ANSAM also reminds the GOI that it was the realization on the part of India that the Naga issue is political in nature that paved the way to negotiation with more than two decades of political talk.

Also read | Oting massacre: SoP flouted, Cops chargesheet 30 Army men

ANSAM prays that the undeclared war on Naga civilians by the Indian forces should cease forthwith and repeal the AFSPA, 1958 and pay way for inclusive, honourable and acceptable Indo-Naga settlement. It is only through the settlement of the Indo-Naga political issue, wherefrom real and permanent peace, development and prosperity will be ushered in,” it said.

Anticipating the sincerity and political commitment of GOI in resolving the Indo-Naga political issue, ANSAM also strongly stated to reaffirm their support to the resolution of the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) to extend Non-Cooperation towards the Indian Armed Forces until AFSPA, 1958 is repealed.

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