A citizens’ collective of Nagaland Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) today vehemently objected to the Centre’s move to extend the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) in the state, saying that the extension of the Act is a total violation of human rights.
The three wings of the Konyak Unions – a group of the Konyak tribe of the state’s Mon district – in a joint statement also seconded the CSO’s objection.
“Adding salt to the wound, the extension of AFSPA is a calculated sign that undermines human dignity and value while the Konyaks cry for justice. The Centre is tagging the region as disturbed when its people have totally denounced violence and are yearning for peace.
“The integrity of the nation cannot be achieved without people’s support and confidence,” the joint statement, signed by Konyak Union President S Howing Konyak and other leaders, read.
The extension of AFSPA is an act directly aimed at creating confusion and hurt among the Konyak Naga society at a time when emotions are running high, it said.
“The Army contingent that visited on Wednesday to probe the incident led by a Major General left a lot to be desired. The Konyaks were extremely disturbed and hurt to see the Army contingent accompanied by the killer (jawans). The Konyak community does not view lightly the presence of the murderer in the same vicinity of the victims for at least a period of one year.”
The statement said that unless there is a serious effort and desire to reach out to the people there can never be peace and harmony and AFSPA is definitely not the solution to this disharmony.
The Konyak Nagas have yearned for peace and integration with the rest of India but it looks like India is not interested in achieving peace or uniting the Konyaks and Nagas with the rest of the nation, the statement said.
Konyaks are one of the most prominent among the 16 tribes in Nagaland, where over 86 per cent of the two million populations are from the tribal community.
Besides the three wings of the Konyak Unions, several other organisations including the Naga People’s Front (NPF), Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), and the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) have been agitating, calling for a repeal of the controversial AFSPA from the entire northeastern region after 14 people were killed and 30 injured on December 4 and 5 in a botched Army op.