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Mon violence 'belittles' political commitment of Prime Minister Modi: Naga militants

The Statesman logo The Statesman 06-12-2021 SNS
Mon violence 'belittles' political commitment of Prime Minister Modi: Naga militants © Provided by The Statesman Mon violence 'belittles' political commitment of Prime Minister Modi: Naga militants

The Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), a conglomeration of seven militant outfits, which is in negotiations with the Modi government has said that the Mon district violence and killing of civilians has  “belittled” the political commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The destructive Indian army tactics and actions in Naga homeland has belittled the political commitment of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah,” the NNPGs said in a statement condemning the actions of the security forces on Saturday, Dec 4.

It also said: “The Armed Forces Special Power Act enforced in Nagaland in 1956 has always allowed cowards within the Indian military to take inhuman, disastrous decisions at critical political and historical moments”.

The remarks are seen as being apprehensive of further delay in achieving an early political solution.

The Naga peace talks that began in August 1997 is said to have reached the final phase but critical juncture.

The NNPG, which was seen as being too keen to ink a final solution pact with the Modi government especially during the stint of R N Ravi as the chief negotiator, said:

“The solution would not be political, neither honourable nor acceptable if our youth are murdered at will by Indian armed forces”.

It, however, asserted that the Government of India must declare honourable and acceptable political solution to the Indo-Naga conflict to ensure all draconian laws in Naga homeland are repealed and done away with”.

The six-hour Bandh call from 0600 hours on Monday passed off peacefully. However, tension prevails across the state.

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has rushed to the Mon district to take stock of the situation. Several Naga leaders and public bodies have called for the repeal of AFSPA.

Some say the government of India has over the years attempted to check militancy in Nagaland that started in the 1950s and other northeastern states by draconian laws including the much talked about Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA).

“The draconian law AFSPA legitimises killing on mere suspicion,” said Rev V Atsi Dolie of Angami Baptist Church.

“It has once again prematurely ended so many precious lives. This incident is a reminder of what our older folk have faced in yesteryears”.

In July 2021, opposition leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former PM H D Deve Gowda had penned a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind to take action to withdraw some of the draconian and black laws.

These include the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, (UAPA), section 124A on ‘sedition’ of the Indian Penal Code, colonial-era legislation, the National Security Act (NSA) and the Public Safety Act (PSA), and Disturbed Area and the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA).

The letter was written in the background of the death of Stan Swamy. It was a custodial death.

Swamy, 84, died of post-Covid-19 complications on July 5 in a Mumbai hospital.

Several opposition MPs including Manoj Jha of RJD and Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM have given notices in Raya Sabha and Lok Sabha to discuss about Nagaland situation.

Chief Minister Rio, who attended the last rites of the civilians killed, said the AFSPA should be removed.

“It has blackened the image of our country. India is the biggest democracy, so many other laws can handle the situation,” he told reporters.

Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi from Assam said: “What has happened on December 4th will be remembered as a black day in the history of Nagaland”.

Nagaland Pradesh Congress chief K Therie said: “….The Government of India and Security Forces have prejudged that all Nagas are enemies of the Nation. Such prejudiced mindset only could pull the trigger”.

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