Naga organizations in the state of Manipur have submitted a joint memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958, as a pre-condition to the “forthcoming Indo-Naga settlement”. The United Naga Council (UNC), Naga Women Union (NWU) and All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) signed the joint memorandum.
Naga leaders informed Newmai News Network tonight that they had submitted the memorandum “electronically” today, while the hard copy will be dispatched by “speed post”.
Earlier in the day, the Nagas living in the “present state of Manipur” carried out sit-in-protests in all the “Naga district headquarters” of Manipur to condemn the “massacre of 14 Naga youths of Oting village, Mon district, Nagaland, on December 4 and 5, 2021 by the 21 Para commandos of Indian Army and Assam Riffles, the memorandum said. It further said that the incident of such brutality is not new and “we will not be surprised by more in future so long as the AFSPA, that allows the Army to commit what it has done at the Oting-Tiru road (indiscriminate massacre), is not removed. “This act was enacted to annihilate the Naga movement for their self-determination but more than 6 decades of cases of death, torture, rape, detention, burnt down villages, groupings and all sort of unimaginable human rights atrocities under AFSPA has only brought India to the international attention with its shameful records on human rights and value for human lives,” the memorandum added.
It then said that more than 24 years peace process and political dialogue is yet to result in an honourable and acceptable settlement, even though the Government of India has recognized the unique history and situation of the Naga people. “Even with this historical recognition, AFSPA continues in its most heinous form as seen today by the world on the Oting-Tiru road,” the memorandum also said.
It then said that when the Home Minister of India stated in the Indian Parliament onDecember 6, 2021, that firing took place because the vehicle carrying the victims refused to stop, he rubbed salt on the collective wounds of the Naga people. “Was the Hon’ble Home Minister’s statement sourced from AFSPA empowered agencies or from the eyewitness survivors and civil administration?,” the memorandum asked.
It then said that the record must be set straight and the onus for the same lies with the Government of India. “Having communicated our sentiments, we would now place our demand that the undeclared war on Naga civilians by the Indian army should cease forthwith and repeal the AFSPA, 1958 as a pre-condition to the forthcoming Indo-Naga settlement,” the memorandum demanded. The Naga organisations then reiterated “what has already been placed repeatedly before the Government of India by the Nagas, the earnest urging for early settlement of the Indo-Naga political issue, wherefrom real peace, development and prosperity will be ushered in”.