June 18, 2024
nagaland

Anti-AFSPA voices become louder

Guwahati: Following the Mon town incident of Nagaland, where at least 14 common people and one security person were killed in a counter-insurgency operation on 4 December, voices against the armed forces special power act 1958 (AFSPA) becomes louder. Joining the chorus of civil society groups, human rights organizations, political party leaders, etc of the north-eastern region, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio demanded the repeal of AFSPA.

Paying tributes to the victims on Monday, Rio made a strong statement against the AFSPA that provides specific powers to the security personnel to deal with the insurgents. Earlier, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma also called the Union government to repeal the brutal act. He also stated that the issue would be taken up with Union home minister Amit Shah. Sangma asserted that the Mon incident proves that there is no place for AFSPA in today’s society.

The issue reached the Parliament, where Union home minister made a statement admitting that it was a case of mistaken identity. He also stated that the situation in Nagaland remains critical but fully under control. Shah said that the Centre expresses regrets over the incident and offers condolences to the victim families. A special investigation team was formed to investigate the matter and asked to submit its report within one month, he added.

Mentionable is that the security personnel, following a credible input about the movement of some armed insurgents in Tiru-Oting rural area, laid an ambush. Soon a vehicle carrying some villagers arrived there and the security personnel ordered it to stop. But the vehicle did not slow down and so they fired over it suspecting insurgents were travelling through it.

Six youths inside the vehicle died on the sport and two were seriously injured. Soon after realizing the mistake the security personnel took the injured villagers to a nearby hospital. But the incident created massive uproars among the villagers and soon they targeted the security forces in different places and it resulted the killing of eight more people along with one Assam Rifles soldier.

The Army had already expressed its regret over the incident. It also constituted a probe into the incident that spread a negative message to the peace initiatives taken up by New Delhi. Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed on Monday in Kohima and other parts of the State. Nagaland government also declared ex-gratia of rupees five lakh to each victim family and the State police lodged a suo motu FIR against the security forces over incident.

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