GUWAHATI: The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has asked the Nagas to refrain from extending any cooperation to the security forces until the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is repealed or withdrawn completely from the “Naga homeland”.
The NSF, which is Nagaland’s apex students’ body, is miffed over the partial withdrawal of the 1958 Act.
“The NSF outright rejects the ploy of the Government of India to please some sections of the northeastern people by lifting the draconian AFSPA from certain pockets of the region while still allowing the inhumane Act to be in operation in almost all parts of the Naga homeland,” the students’ body said.
The Centre removed the “disturbed areas notification” vis-à-vis AFSPA from 23 districts and partially from one district of Assam, 15 police station areas of six districts of Manipur and 15 police stations in seven districts of Nagaland with effect from April 1.
The Nagas have sizeable populations in Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh besides Nagaland. The NSF lamented that a major chunk of the Naga homeland was again classified as disturbed areas.
“…What yardsticks were used to lift the Act from certain areas of the Northeast within the Naga homeland which have almost perfect law and order records?” the students’ organisation asked.
It viewed such a decision of the Centre as rubbing more salt into the wounds of the Nagas who were yet to recover from last year’s massacre of 14 civilians in the state’s Mon district.
The NSF said it would work hard to ensure that AFSPA was repealed or completely lifted from the entire Naga homeland and to achieve this goal, it would undertake a series of democratic agitations in consonance with the collective aspirations of the Nagas.
Further, the NSF condemned Friday’s incident of firing involving the Army’s Para commandos in Arunachal’s Tirap district in which two civilians were injured. The victims were shot at on mistaken identity while they were returning from a river after fishing.