Video Producer: Naman Shah
Video Editor: Subroto Adhikari
A two-day march against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958, from Dimapur to Kohima in Nagaland, covering a distance of 75 km started on Monday, 10 January at 6:00 am.
After a night halt in Piphema, the march will resume at 6:00 am on Tuesday, 11 January, and move towards Kohima. Several locals and organisations are likely to join the march before proceeding to the Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum.
While there were concerns regarding the march due to restrictions imposed by the state from 10 January in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases, the march designated as “Walkathon” was granted security clearance with certain conditions.
As per the conditions, the organisers must maintain public peace and tranquility during the walk and must not affect the free flow of traffic.
The order also stated that all participants must be fully vaccinated and observe COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
The Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) for prospective participants were also conducted on Dimapur District Hospital on Sunday, 9 January.
Earlier on Saturday, 8 January, the organisers said that the march was “purely non-violent and peaceful”, urged participants to obey all the rules laid down by the authorities and not indulge in violence.
Volunteers are also expected to join the march along the way to express solidarity.
"Anyone can retire at any point or join the march from any point," SOPs laid down by the co-ordinators stated.
Ambulances will also accompany the participants for anyone with prior medical conditions.
Terming the extension of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, (AFSPA) in Nagaland for another six months an act of "adding salt to the already wounded injury," the Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) had previously expressed their shock over the Centre’s notification from December, which declared the entirety of Nagaland as a "disturbed" area under the AFSPA.
The extension came in the aftermath of the killings of 13 civilians, who were gunned down by the Indian armed forces in a case of "mistaken identity".