Over the years, AFSPA has long been synonymous with grave human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, and violations of civil liberties by armed personnel acting on behalf of the state, further exacerbating the mistrust between the civilian population and the security forces, says NSF
By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent
Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) on Wednesday said that it stands in staunch opposition to the continuation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in the Naga homeland.
According to a press statement issued by NSF president Medovi Rhi, and general secretary, Chumben Khuvung, the Ministry of Home Affair (MHA)s’ decision to prolong the application of AFSPA as per the notification issued on September 26 on the pretext of “Law and Order” problem, is an attempt to project the Nagaland state as a land of “lawlessness and chaos”.
NSF said that the continuation of AFSPA in the Naga homeland was not just regrettable; it is an affront to the principles of democracy, justice, and human rights.
Over the years, this legislation has long been synonymous with grave human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, and violations of civil liberties by armed personnel acting on behalf of the state- further exacerbating the mistrust between the civilian population and the security forces, NSF said and added that it was a testament to the erosion of democratic principles when such legislation continues to be applied in a region that aspires for peace, justice, and reconciliation, which the Naga people have endured the ramifications of this draconian law for far too long.
The NSF called upon the Government of India (GoI) to repeal the contentious AFSPA and to initiate a genuine process of conflict resolution that respects the rights and dignity of the Naga people. We implore upon the Government of India to uphold the principles of justice, human rights, and the rule of law in the region.
Furthermore, the NSF also urged upon the Government of India (GoI) to engage in constructive dialogue with all stakeholders on board to work towards a comprehensive and enduring solution to the protracted Indo-Naga issue while fostering an atmosphere of trust and reconciliation.
“The NSF stands united with the Naga people in our quest for a just and peaceful society and we remain committed to advocating for the rights and aspirations of our people”, the NSF further said.
Meanwhile, according to MHA’s notification issued on September 26, Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek and Peren districts in Nagaland and the areas in Nagaland falling within the jurisdiction of Khuzama, Kohima North, Kohima South, Zubza and Kezocha PS in Kohima district; Mangkolemba, Mokochung-I, Longtho, Tuli, Longchem and Anaki ‘C’ police stations in Mokokchung District; Yanglok police station in Longleng District; Bhandari, Champang and Ralan police stations in Wokha District; and Ghatashi, Pughoboto, Satakha, Suruhuto, Zunheboto and Aghunato police stations in Zunheboto District are declared as “disturbed area” under AFSPA for six months with effect from October 1.