The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) made an “appeal” today that the recent Government of India’s notification of December 30, 2021 declaring Nagaland as a disturbed area and the further extension of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 be nullified and revoked.
In a statement issued today, the ruling NDPP said it “is extremely shocked and anguished” at the recent notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India (GoI), published in “The Gazette of India: Extraordinary” dated December 30, 2021 notifying the Central Government’s decision declaring the whole of Nagaland as a “disturbed area” with the extension of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) to the entire State of Nagaland for a period of six months with effect from December 30, 2021. The Nagaland based political party also said that such notification only belittles the high level meeting held between the Union Home Minister, the Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Assam, the Deputy Chief Minister of Nagaland and the Leader of the NPF Legislature Party and former Chief Minister of Nagaland on December 23, 2021 in Delhi.
The NDPP then said that at a time when the people of Nagaland are confidently under the impression that with the setting up of the high powered committee by the MHA to seriously examine and consider the repeal of AFSPA and removal of the disturbed area coverage, there would be no orders or notifications issued till the report of the committee was final, “it has come as a rude shock and a huge disappointment to the people of the State that such a notification has been issued on the penultimate day of 2021”. The NDPP added, “It is therefore, sincerely urged that the Government of India reconsiders and revokes the decision, especially in view of the fact that there is a mass movement against the AFSPA, with the Nagaland Legislative Assembly having loudly advocated the feelings of the people through the Assembly resolution of December 20, 20201 which has been submitted to the Government of India through the Hon’ble Union Home Minister”.
The NDPP then said that Nagaland has been amongst the safest states for more than two decades and there has been no serious encounter with the security forces. It further said that the ceasefire which has been in place for the last 25 years is working and there is relative peace and tranquility. “In fact, the overall law and order situation in Nagaland has been very peaceful with Nagaland having also been acknowledged as the most peaceful state at many forums,” the party added.
The NDPP then said that the only major incident that shockingly disturbed the peace was the Oting incident of December 4, 2021 which had nothing to do with insurgency or law and order. “It once again brought to the forefront of attention that the AFSPA needs to be repealed and the tag of disturbed area needs to be removed,” the party also said. The NDPP further stated the use of the words “dangerous and disturbed” is definitely misleading and inappropriate. The party also said that the concerned authorities who passed such orders “from far off locations” without any proper knowledge of the ground situation should wake up to present realities. The NDPP added that the present situation is no more like what it was in the past and the concerned authorities must move out of their archaic mentalities and isolated cocoons.
According to the NDPP statement, issuing notifications and orders with such language is unwarranted and will negatively impact the ambition and aspirations of the young generation and the youth, especially when the people are anxiously waiting for a final settlement of the Indo-Naga issue. It further said that Nagaland has been undergoing positive growth in the tourism and service sector and has emerged as a popular destination. “But with unnecessary extension of the disturbed area and the imposition of the AFSPA, our efforts towards economic growth and integration with the mainstream will only be negatively impacted,” it added.
The NDPP then said that at a time when the Naga people have put their trust and confidence on the assurance that the Indo-Naga talks are moving in a positive direction, the Government of India must make efforts towards building confidence and strengthening that trust. “It must make every possible effort to increase the role of the youth and the young generation in the nation building process,” said the party, adding, “By passing such unpopular and unwanted orders, the feeling of alienation will only grow. It is high time the narrative is reversed”.