In wake of the civilian deaths during a security operation in Nagaland, Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad K Sangma on Monday, 6 December, called for the repealing of the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act (AFSPA), 1958.
Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio echoed the same on Monday in a tweet: "Nagaland and the Naga people have always opposed #AFSPA. It should be repealed."
Under the law, military is empowered to search, arrest, and fire if deemed necessary for maintaining public order in "disturbed areas" across the country, and to carry out these excesses with a degree of immunity from prosecution.
Alleging breach of human rights and accesses under the 'draconian' law, human rights groups as well as other civil society members have been demanding the scrapping of the law.
The state of Nagaland has been under the AFSPA for almost six decades. In 2015, an agreement between Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah) General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and government interlocutor RN Ravi was signed for withdrawing of the act.
At least 13 villagers in Nagaland lost their lives while travelling to Oting after a counter-insurgency operation went awry. Fourteen others had been seriously injured.
In the aftermath of the attack, a new spell of violence broke out on Sunday, 5 December, after hundreds of civilians vandalised an Assam Rifles camp in Mon district. One protesting citizen died as a result.
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