The United Naga Council (UNC) on Sunday questioned the rationale behind not lifting of AFSPA, 1958 in the hill areas of Manipur “when the ceasefire agreement between the Government of India and NSCN (I-M) is in place since 1997 and Suspension of Operation with the Kuki Chin Group also is effectively being implemented.”
Any justification in this regard will defy any logic and hence will not stand the test of time, UNC stated in a release issued by its information and publicity secretary SK Stephen.
Hence, it is the right time to "seriously engage in dialogue and sincerely address all issues" for a lasting political solution in the region, UNC stated.
“UNC knows it is a deceptive move to show that it is doing something good, though no substantial change in military mobilisation can be seen from such a move in the area and that has no relevance to the affected people,” it further stated.
In the context of Manipur state, the usual discriminatory attitude of the state government has again laid bare for the whole world to see it though New Delhi alone has the power to make the decision to affect any changes on the matter, it mentioned.
"The inputs from the state government of the day is crucial and hence lifting of Disturbed Areas Act selectively only in the valley areas of the state points to the fact that Hill Areas will continue to be under AFSPA and endure the pain and agony of chauvinistic onslaught of the security forces," it added.
Further, it mentioned that New Delhi has withdrawn the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 in parts of the three North Eastern states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur on March 31. The chief ministers of the three states have expressed appreciation to the BJP led government at the Centre by profusely praising the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi for the perceived good gesture, it added.
The UNC urges the Government of India to desist from indulging in usual discriminatory action and repeal this outdated draconian law wherever it is being promulgated, it added. Such archaic law that has its roots from the colonial period has no place and is not needed in modern democracy, it added.