The Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) has strongly condemned the act of a few Naga women tying rakhis on the Indian armed forces during the recent Raksha Bandhan celebration in Dimapur and Tamenglong, and termed it “questionable and unacceptable”.
Saying that the Raksha Bandhan objection issue is not about cultural practices or religious differences, the NMA emphasized that it is about the "denial of justice on war crimes committed on Nagas, including its women and children, under AFSPA,”
“For us Naga women, traumatised by a genocidal history of rapes, molestation, killings, village groupings, inhumane army atrocities at the hands of the Indian armed forces under the impunity of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), it is a shame and a black day to witness our women, tying rakhis and felicitating these very armed forces, when we are yet to see justice for war crimes and human rights violations committed against our women, children and men,” the NMA stated in a release on Saturday.
Pointing out that the haunting cries of victims’ families for justice in several incidents of human rights violation over the decades is yet to be heard and justice served, the NMA said, “Be it a BJP political party-initiated activity in Dimapur or Students Union obligations to the Assam Rifles in Tamenglong, it is unacceptable and questionable.
Recalling the “horrifying massacre of Nagas” at Matikhrü in 1960 by the 16th Punjab Regiment, the NMA said the day, September 6 is observed as a Black Day every year till today.
“It is a record of extreme violation of human rights, whereby the army committed the barbaric beheading of our innocent villagers. The killings, tortures and rapes at Oinam and surrounding villages under Operation Bluebird, Mokokchung arson, rapes and killings, Pangsha fake encounter and killing of an innocent wife and mother, villagers and unarmed cadres and maiming for life two surviving women victims, reckless shooting and killing of two children at Wuzu Firing are all still fresh in our recent memory, as we continue to grieve and suffer with families affected,” the NMA pointed out in the release.
Also, stating that the recent press statement of 44 Assam Rifles, Tamenglong is “unacceptable to us Naga women”, the NMA pointed out that the “armed forces are not in a position to sermonize in the face of such atrocities, nor is the Raksha Bandhan objection issue about cultural practices or religious differences”.
“It is about the denial of justice on war crimes against Nagas, including its women and children, under the imposition of AFSPA,” the NMA emphasized.
The NMA called upon Nagaland BJP Mahila Morcha national secretary Aienla Jamir and Avi Aomi, president, Dimapur district Mahila Morcha and their team, the said student’s union and women in Tamenglong, to join Naga women, “if they are true Nagas who love their people”.
“Instead of carrying out such objectionable programmes, they must raise their voices to the Government of India and Central BJP leaders for repeal of the AFSPA and justice for crimes committed by the Indian armed forces, including the Assam Rifles,” the NMA added in the release signed by NMA president Abei-U Meru and joint secretary Malsawnthangi Leyri.