Northeast

'AFSPA has no place in civilised, largest democratic country'

The Tangkhul community in Ukhrul staged a sit-in protest against Oting killing; called for repeal of AFSPA.

ByUkhrul Correspondent

Updated on 11 Dec 2021, 11:03 pm

(PHOTO: IFP)

(PHOTO: IFP)

 

The Tangkhul community, including student bodies and CSOs, on Saturday staged a sit- n protest in Ukhrul demanding removal of Armed Forces Special Power Act from the region. The protest was organised by Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong under the aegis of ANSAM.

The protest was necessitated following the deaths of 14 innocent civilians in Mon district of Nagaland on December 4.

The protesters held placards which read, ‘Stop terrorism in our land’, ‘Repeal AFSPA Act, 1958’, ‘We condemn the massacred of innocent civilians by the Indian Para Commandos at Oting Nagaland’, ‘AFSPA can never win your war’, ‘Indian army can kill us but not our spirit’, ‘AFSPA is Army’s weapon and a terror to people’.

The event was participated by TNL, TSL, TKS Federating units and district populace. They also demanded Union Home Minister Amit Shah to retract his false statement saying Oting and the Northeast demands it, AFSPA is a blot on India’s democracy, the protesters chanted.

Speaking at the occasion, Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long president SA Ramnganing decried the rampant misuse of power by the security forces in the name of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). 

“The Act license immunity to the forces vetoing the command to search and shoot at sight any persons they found suspected”, Ramnganing said and added that the recent massacre at Oting village in Mon district of Nagaland where 14 innocent coal miners have fallen to the blatant abuse of power must be condemned by every right-thinking Indian citizen.

We pray and stand in solidarity with the fallen souls and express our deep condolences to the grief-stricken family members who had lost their loved ones under the barrel of draconian Act.  The TNWL stands for total elimination of AFSPA. This inhumane Act must go and has no place in the civilised and largest democratic country, we call India. Dialogue and guns cannot go hand in hand, he said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah's statement in the parliament over the Oting killing saying that it was a mistaken identity while admitting lapses on the part of security forces is a double standard stand meaning he don’t want to lose his face while confessing the mistakes which is unbecoming of a tall leader, Ramnganing said.

The intelligence agencies of India have been exposed and the global communities have seen it all given the fact that Indian security forces were at loss to distinguish the militants and civilians. This shows that India's intelligence reliability is at its lowest as their much-hyped classified operation failed to understand the simple arithmetic which it claimed as their main shield in their fight against external forces, he said.
Are the Assam Rifles truly the friends of the hill people ...my dear Northeast brothers and sisters, how friendly are they in reality? Time is ripe for us to reveal the true inner meaning behind their catchy ‘Friends of the Hill People”, Ramnganing said.

Thousands of innocent civilians’ lives had been cut short and scores of our mother and sisters have been raped and molested by the security forces. We are not here for their experimentation. Never, but sadly the powers that be continue to unleash their reign of power. Only time will tell if AFSPA is the answer to the problems that ails the NE states of India. This Act must go as we are all humans, he stated.

Speaking to the Imphal Free Press, Dr Yaronsho Ngalung, Caretaker chairman ADC Ukhrul strongly condemned the barbaric act of indiscriminate firing and killing of 14 innocent civilians of Oting village under Mon district, Nagaland by Indian Army. 

“This is a heinous crime committed by Indian security forces against the unarmed Naga citizens. The Indian Army has always been committing atrocities on the Naga people through the use of its draconian law AFSPA, 1958. The notoriety of AFSPA has once again raised its ugly head with its impunity,” he said.

Why is this latest killing taking place while Indo-Naga political talks are underway? Is this killing of Nagas a sign of sincerity on the part of India for seeking peace for India- Naga political conflict? the ADC chairman caretaker questioned, adding that ‘Mistaken Identity’ on the killing as claimed by the Union Home Minister is nothing but a lie and an insult to the Naga people in particular and the NE in general. He demanded for immediate repeal of AFSPA, 1958 from the entire NE states.

This venomous AFSPA of 1958 must be shown for its exit from the entire NE region. I feel deeply anguished over the callous and casual way of behaviour of the Indian Army of targeting and killing the innocent and defenceless labourers of Oting Village. I express my sincere and deep condolences to the bereaved families. May their souls rest in peace, Dr Yaronsho Ngalung said.

Shimri Raising, president TKS said, “Our men have been murdered in cold blooded; many women have been raped and molested amid the tall claimed largest democratic country in the world, India, all because of AFSPA”, and maintained that no one is above law as every person deserved to be treated equally.

Raising, while taking a pot shot at Amit Shah false lies in the parliament, called for his resignation alleging that a man of his standing must know when to admit wrong is wrong. “Such lies must not be allowed to rule us over us.”

Admitting that Northeastern states, including Manipur have been living in the reign of fear and terror for the last many decades, he called upon the international human rights body to join hands together in order that this notorious and inhumane act is removed.

It may be mentioned that TKS while strongly condemning the indiscriminate mass killings and showing its solidarity with the fallen victims had organised candlelight vigil on Sunday and imposed a six-hour shutdown on Monday in the heart of Ukhrul town.  

Ukhrul Correspondent

Ukhrul Correspondent

UKHRUL district, Manipur

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