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Centre to form a panel to look into the withdrawal of AFSPA in Nagaland

The latest development comes after a Nagaland delegation, headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma, met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on December 23.

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Kohima: Amid the growing clamour to repeal the Armed Forces Special Power Act following the firing incident in Nagaland’s Mon district, the Centre has decided to form a Committee to look into the withdrawal of AFSPA in the state.

The latest development comes after a Nagaland delegation, headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma, met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on December 23.

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Addressing a press conference in Dimapur, Rio on Sunday said during their meeting with the Home Minister, AFSPA and Oting firing incident were discussed.

“It was decided that a Committee to look into the withdrawal of AFSPA will be instituted which will be headed by Additional Secretary (North East), Ministry of Home Affairs and will include the state’s Chief Secretary and DGP,” the CM said.

Other members that will be part of the Committee are IGAR(N) and representative of the CRPF, he added.

The CM informed that Committee will submit its report within 45 days and withdrawal of “disturbed area” and AFSPA from Nagaland will be based on the recommendation of the panel.

After the Oting incident, Meghalaya CM and National People’s Party (NPP) president Conrad K Sangma along with Rio demanded to repeal AFSPA.

On Oting firing incident, the Nagaland CM said, “A court of inquiry’ will initiate disciplinary action against the army unit and army personnel who are directly involved in the Oting incident and action will be taken immediately on the basis of fair inquiry. The identified personnel who will face the inquiry will be placed under suspension with immediate effect.”

Earlier this month, the State government constituted a high-level Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the incident.

Rio also informed that the state government will give job to the next kin of the deceased.

“The Deputy Commissioner and Superintendant of Police of Mon district will carry out necessary procedures in consultation with the village councils and government jobs will be given on compassionate grounds on the basis of the eligibility,” the CM said.

He expressed his gratitude to Union Home Minister for looking into the matter with utmost seriousness and appealed to all sections to continue to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.

Deputy CM Y Patton and former CM TR Zeliang were also present.
Meanwhile, the Indian Army in a statement said, “We once again deeply regret the loss of lives during the December 4 incident in Mon district. Loss of lives is indeed sad and unfortunate. The inquiry ordered by Army is progressing expeditiously and all efforts are being made to conclude it at the earliest.”

“The Indian Army is also fully cooperating with the SIT inquiry ordered by the state government and required details are being shared in a timely manner,” it said.

On December 21, the Indian Army in a statement urged the public that anyone having any information including videos, photos from the primary source or any other information in original (not forwarded or not from secondary sources) may share via phone/ SMS/WhatsApp at +916026930283 or call at army exchange helpline +913742388456.
The identity of the informant will be kept confidential on request, it said.

The original documents/audio-visual recording would be collected from the source after following due legal procedure, the release added.

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