Naga body observes 32nd anniversary of ‘Operation Bluebird’
SENAPATI | Jul 9
The Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR-South) observed the 32nd anniversary of “Operation Bluebird” of 1987 on Tuesday at Tusil Ngaonil Village Community Hall, Tahamzam (Senapati).
The programme was supported by Poumai Naga Students Union, Poumai Naga Women Union, Village Authority of Oinam Hill and Oinam Hill Youth and students’ organisation and was observed under the theme, “The quest for Justice and Peace.”
Delivering a speech, convenor of the NPMHR (South), Joyson Mazamo recalled the infamous “Operation Bluebird” and said that many “brutal incidents” were meted out to Nagas by the Assam Rifles that led to “unimaginable atrocities “unleashed on the villagers of Oinam (Onaeme) and neighbouring villages of Senapati district, Manipur, following the attack on the Assam Rifles outpost located at Oinam village on July 9, 1987.
“The operation launched by the Indian armed forces to recover the looted arms and ammunition virtually turned Oinam and more than 30 other villages in its vicinity into concentration camps and prisons,” Joyson Mazamo said.
According to Mazamo, many women were physically assaulted and sexually abused, 27 persons were killed and hundreds of people were severely tortured. “It remains one of the most brutal and horrific cases of systematic violation of human rights committed by Indian security forces,” said the NPMHR-South convenor, while adding, “We remember the victims and pay our humble tributes to them”.
Joyson also said that Naga people have experienced untold miseries and hardships in the course of their resistance movement for self-determination, “with both India and Burma unleashing a reign of terror to suppress us, killing thousands of innocent Nagas”.
He appealed to the government of India to take note of the concerns of the Naga people and uphold the professed ethos of the Indian democracy and its justice delivery system “which is found wanting while responding to this issue in the past”.
President of Poumai Naga Students Union (PNTM), Isaac Thaoveinii, in his speech recalled that the particular village and so many neighbouring villages faced a nightmare of terror and horror when the Indian security carried out one of the biggest operations under the code named as “Operation Bluebird” way back in 1987.
President of Poumai Naga Union, S.P. Longsao Lawrence, in his keynote address, stated that three decades ago, Oinam Hill and surrounding villages of Senapati district turned into virtual prisons as security forces armed with the AFSPA of 1958 “unleashed” a reign of terror in the area. “The Naga people seemed to have no human values before the Assam Rifles,” he stated. “Between July and October in 1987, hundreds of villagers were severely beaten up and subjected to third degree method of torture”, he also said.
Solidarity messages from United Naga Council, Naga Students Federation, Naga Women Union, Manipur, All Naga Students Association and Naga People’s Organization were also read out.
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