Published: 09th December 2021
Student body asks all CMs of Northeast to jointly push for AFSPA repeal
North East Students' Organisation staged a protest across the Northeast against the recent civilian killings in Nagaland's Mon district
Northeast's apex student body, North East Students' Organisation (NESO), asked all chief ministers of the region to jointly push for the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which gives sweeping powers to security forces. It staged a protest across the Northeast on Thursday, December 9, in protest against the recent civilian killings in Nagaland's Mon district.
"We staged the protest against the barbaric act of the security forces that resulted in the death of 14 innocent people. It was also organised in a show of solidarity with our brothers from Nagaland," NESO chairman Samuel Jyrwa said. On the demand for the repeal of the AFSPA, he said the chief ministers of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram have already spoken against the contentious Act. "We demand that the Government of India repeal AFSPA. Three chief ministers have already spoken against it. We call upon the other chief ministers of the Northeast to also take up the issue with the Centre. We want all state governments of the region to jointly push for the repeal of this draconian Act," Jyrwa added.
In a statement, the students' body said, "The NESO is reiterating that the Government of India should show its willingness and sincerity for peace to prevail in the Northeast by repealing AFSPA. Otherwise, it will only be seen as an act of aggression and suppression of the voices of people by using the military power at their disposal."
Taking part in the protest in Guwahati, Samujjal Bhattacharya, who is the advisor to the NESO, questioned Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's silence on the issue. "We welcome the stand of the chief ministers of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram on the AFSPA. Our agitation against the AFSPA will continue as long as it is not repealed and the perpetrators of the Nagaland killings are not punished," he said.
Major insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) said no political talks would be meaningful under the shadow of the AFSPA. "If the Government of India wants to do justice to the Naga people, the AFSPA must be immediately withdrawn and investigation for proper prosecution immediately constituted," the NSCN-IM said.
Meanwhile, the Konyak Union in Nagaland, which had declared seven days' mourning, said, "The (Mon) incident clearly indicates that their (security personnel) actual motive and intention was to win awards with promotions and other gallantry medals."