Dimapur: A programme in Dimapur today made a “public declaration” which demanded immediate removal and repealing of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958.
The Forum of Naga Reconciliation (FNR) held a programme christened as ‘Public Lament for the killings of Naga civilians on December 4 and 5 by India’s security forces’ in Dimapur today. The event was held under the theme “Memories of Oting and the Nagas.” According to the FNR, leaders of 26 organizations attended the public event. The ‘public declaration’ was made through FNR with the support of 26 organizations.
“We, the public have come together under the theme Memories of Oting and the Nagas organized by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation on December 19, 2021 to stand in absolute solidarity with Oting village and the Konyak Naga people,” said a note from the organisers.” It also said, “We are outraged by the obvious intention of the senseless and arbitrary killings of innocent Naga civilians committed by India’s 21st Para Special Forces Regiment. Considering this violation of the right to life constitutes the gravest infringement of human dignity and human worth, we insist the Government of India act responsibly by immediately removing and repealing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) of 1958.”
They also demanded that the Government of India act responsibly by ensuring justice for the victims of Oting and Mon killings. “According to the rule of law, initiate appropriate disciplinary action against the Commanding Officer and personnel of the 21st Para Special Forces Regiment involved in the killings of 13 civilians and injuring at least 14 civilians in Oting on December 4,” said the declaration.
It then demanded that the government takes disciplinary action against the Commanding Officer and personnel of the 27th Assam Rifles involved in the shooting that killed 1 civilian and injured at least 18 civilians in Mon Town on December 5.
The declaration then said, “The tragedies in Oting and Mon present an opportunity for Nagas to self-reflect and discern together so that our present crisis can be publicly redressed.”
The programme then implored that the “Naga Political Groups” (NPGs) shed their differences and take positive steps to reconcile, unite in purpose and cooperate in the common interest of the shared Naga historical and political rights. It also implored that all Naga leaders – overground and underground – to rise above party politics and self-interests by demonstrating statesmanship and healing leadership using nonviolent means. It further implored the Naga public to hold their leaders and themselves accountable, and resist all forms of tribalism and other forms of isms which divide the Nagas.