Kohima: Nagaland’s ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) on Saturday demanded invalidation and repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) imposed by the Union Home Ministry.
The ministry, in a notification, has extended the Act in the entire state till June 30, 2022.
A statement issued by the NDPP’s media and communication committee said issuing of the notification and the language used in it were “unwarranted” and would “negatively’ impact the ambition and aspirations of the younger generation, ‘especially when people are anxiously waiting for a final settlement of the Naga peace talk involving various groups”.
The Ministry of Home Affairs notification only “belittles” the high-level meeting between the Union Home Minister, Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Assam, Deputy Chief Minister of Nagaland Y. Patton, the leader of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) legislative party and former Chief Minister of Nagaland T R Zeliang on December 23 in Delhi, said the statement.
It said Nagaland has been witnessing positive growth in tourism and service sectors and it has emerged as a popular destination. “But with unnecessary extension of disturbed areas and the imposition of AFSPA, our efforts towards economic growth and integration with the mainstream will only be negatively impacted”.
It said the ceasefire, which has been in place for the past 25 years, is working and there is relative peace and tranquility in the region, while the overall law and order situation in Nagaland has also been very peaceful.
The statement said there is a mass movement against AFSPA, with the Nagaland Assembly ‘loudly
advocating” the feelings of the people through a resolution on December 20, which has been submitted to the Government of India through the Union Home Minister (Amit Shah).
The NDPP’s move came after almost all the political parties in the region and the Naga civil societyorganisations (CSOs) demanded withdrawal of AFSPA following the death of 14 civilians in firing by the armed forces personnel in Mon district earlier last month.