Naga Civilian Deaths: Thousands Take to Streets Demanding Justice, AFSPA Repeal
Protesters marched with banners and placards that said, “repeal AFSPA” and “nagas are not terrorists”.
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The demand for justice for the 14 civilians killed in a botched Indian Army counter-insurgency operation in Nagaland’s Mon district intensified on Friday, 17 December, with thousands taking to the streets for the third straight day.
The streets of Kohima echoed with demands to repeal the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), with banners and placards saying, “how many orphans and widows are needed before repealing AFSPA” and “nagas are not terrorists”.
The rally, organisaed by the Naga Students Federation, saw thousands in the streets of Kohima, demanding the repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Protesters marched shouting “repeal AFPSA”, holding banners and placards that read “repeal AFSPA” and “nagas are not terrorists”.
The protesters also demanded that Union Home Minister Amit Shah withdraw his statement made in Parliament, where he stated that the army unit fired in self-defence.
Naga Students Federation Writes to PM Modi Demanding Immediate Justice
In a memorandum, accessed by The Quint, by the Naga Students Federation, which was submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the student body demanded the immediate repeal of AFSPA and justice for all victims.
The organisation in the memorandum noted more than ten atrocities allegedly committed by the Indian armed forces in Nagaland. The student body has the following three demands:
Immediate justice for Oting victims and delivery of justice, immediate repeal of AFSPA, and expediting the Naga peace process.
Naga Civil Societies, Tribal Bodies Observe 'Non-Cooperation Movement'
The protest against the killings have been intensifying over the past few days, with a dawn-to-dusk shutdown observed in the Mon district on 16 December by the Konyak Naga tribal body. All government and private establishments remained closed during the shutdown.
Announcing the shutdown, Konyak Union President S Howing Konyak and other tribal leaders had also said that no military recruitment rally would be allowed in Mon and no Konyak youth would participate in any recruitment rally.
Several Naga civil society organisations, including the Konyak Union, have declared a "non-cooperation" with the security forces until their demands, including repeal of the AFSPA, are fulfilled and justice is delivered to the 14 victims.
The Eastern Nagaland Peoples' Organisation (ENPO), a top tribal body, also staged demonstrations in Tuensang, Longleng, Kiphire, and Noklak districts. According to NDTV, the group resolved to "abstain from any national celebrations, or such activities; non-participation in Army civic programmes; non-attendance to any of their official invitations, and not to allow any recruitment drive within Eastern Nagaland area."
(With inputs from NDTV, IANS, EastMojo, EasternMirror.)
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