Shillong: Condemning the gruesome gunning down of 14 civilians in Nagaland by Special Forces of the Indian Army, the North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF) has urged Chief Ministers of the North-Eastern states to collectively prevail upon the Centre for the immediate repeal of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the region.
“Shooting civilians by the Indian military is a racist act. It is very clear to all of us that AR (Assam Rifles) is killing the civilians under AFSPA. AR is confident that they will be protected by this law. NEDF also appreciates your leadership and intervention so that the situation would not escalate further,” the Forum wrote to the Chief Ministers.
The NEDF sought to know from the Union government has to “who has given the authority to AR in Sonari in Assam to cross the state border to Nagaland and carry out the shooting of civilians. Technically AR under AFSPA are deployed in the region to assist the civil authority, meaning AR should operate under the order of the DC. Do the AR seek the permission from the concerned DC of the District in Assam and Nagaland to organize such military operation? If not, what are you going to do.”
“What could be the role of the owner of one of the coal mines in Mon district bordering Sonari in Assam to get the help from the AR to protect his illegal coal mining? Were there any procedures to arrest the suspects and investigate them to bring the suspected perpetrator under the rule of law? Is the rule of law under the AR,” the Forum questioned.
“How long will the Government of India allow our innocent people to be killed by AR with the false allegation,” the NEDF asked the Chief Ministers and demanded for the constitution of an “independent, credible and impartial investigation team” to examine the case of killing by AR at Tiru-Oting area of Mon district of Nagaland within a time frame so that this report can be submitted to the double bench of the Supreme Court of India presently working on the cases of extra-judicial execution for further legal action against the perpetrators and the responsible commander of the concern AR in Sonari.
The Forum appealed to all the Chief Ministers of the region and the PM to provide immediate compensation of Rs 10 lakh each as relief and rehabilitation of the families who lost their bread earners.
It also urged the CMs in the region to call an emergency meeting to discuss the situation of high handedness of AR under AFSPA and take steps to repeal AFSPA, 1958 from the North Eastern
region of India immediately.