The infamous draconian law of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was the main discussion point during the tribute programme for the Oting tragedy which was held at the Capital Cultural Hall, Kohima on December 9 evening.
A 2 minutes silence was observed in remembrance of Oting village victims.
Oting incident was a misuse and abuse of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. The Act is violative of human rights and the Naga people have opposed it for decades, said Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
He urged the public to remain strong and courageous and stand united and appealed to Nagas, particularly the Konyak brothers, not to retaliate. “It is time to defeat violence with non-violence and ask the people to shun away from violence and show the nation that AFSPA is not needed,” Rio said.
“The Arm Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) has brought nothing good to the nation and its citizens ever since its inception in 1958,” said T.R. Zeliang, former chief minister and NPF Legislative Party Leader. The AFSPA has brought all the times pain and suffering which has disintegrated the nation further, he added.
He urged the present government to bring the perpetrators to justice. No amount of reason could justify the killing of innocent civilians.
To avoid inhuman atrocities on citizens, the entire Northeastern regions must come together and fight for rights to repeal AFSPA immediately.
The centre continued to extend AFSPA every year despite the state government and the governor writing to the centre against imposing the draconian law, Zeliang said.
Therefore, Zeliang urged everyone to stand united and fight for our rights. He also conveyed his deepest condolences to the Konyak brothers.
President, Konyak Union Kohima, H Angnyei Konyak strongly condemned and called for revocation of the AFSPA. The country does not want to see another Oting incident.
He also lamented at the misinformation being spread by the media. Konyak expressed his gratitude at the solitary shown by various sections of the society.
Musical performances were presented by Kewhira Strings Quartet; Nagaland Conservatory of Music Choir; Sanctuary Choir, Union Baptist Church; Chubatola Imsong; TaliAngh & friends; Konyak Youths (East Story); Bozio Nienu and Ameü ÜsouZao Choir.
Chairperson of the programme, Senior Pastor, Kohima Ao Baptist Church, Rev Sentisashi Aier, gave the introductory remarks. Deputy chief minister Y Patton delivered the vote of thanks.