Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Monday joined his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad K Sangma to call for the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958, days after 14 civilians were gunned down after an Army operation went awry.
“Nagaland and the Naga people have always opposed #AFSPA. It should be repealed. (SIC),” Rio said on Twitter. His tweet came hours after Sangma demanded the same.
“AFSPA confers special powers on the armed forces in areas deemed as disturbed. “AFSPA should be repealed,” tweeted Sangma, whose NPP is an ally of the BJP.
The AFSPA is in force in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (excluding Imphal Municipal Council area), Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang, Longding, Tirap districts and areas falling within the of eight police stations at the Assam border. The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) also demanded that the AFSPA be withdrawn for building a peaceful Northeast.
Civil society groups, rights activists and political leaders of the Northeast region have been demanding the withdrawal of the “draconian” law for years, alleging excesses by security forces with impunity under the cover of the Act.
Meghalaya Congress also supported CM Sangma, urging him to convene a meeting for consultation over the issue. “We must go all out to demand the immediate repeal of this draconian oppression on our people. Kindly convene a consultation at the earliest,” Congress MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh tweeted in reply to Sangma.
Opposition leaders in the Lok Sabha on Monday condemned the killing of civilians in Nagaland and demanded impartial inquiry and compensation for the deceased.
Condemning the incident, Lok Sabha member from Nagaland, Tokheho Yepthomi said that an unfortunate incident had taken place, pointing out that Naga political negotiation has been going on for 25 years and people are also anxiously waiting for the solution and said AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) has not given power to armed forces to kill people indiscriminately.
He demanded that an inquiry should be held and stern action should be taken against the guilty and adequate compensation to the family of victims.
At least 14 civilians and a soldier were killed in a botched anti-insurgency operation and retaliatory violence over the weekend in Mon district of Nagaland, as per police.