Neiphiu Rio had mounted a searing attack on the "draconian law" after the violence
The Nagaland Assembly today unanimously resolved to demand a repeal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 from the northeast, especially from Nagaland. The state Assembly passed a five-point resolution to "strengthen the ongoing efforts to find a peaceful political settlement to the Naga political issue". This comes a little over two weeks after a botched Army operation and retaliatory violence in the state's Mon district killed 14 civilians.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio led the Assembly in passing the resolution and appealing for an early settlement of the Naga Peace talks at the special session of the Assembly. "Nagaland and the Naga people have always opposed AFSPA. It should be repealed," Mr Rio had earlier said in a searing attack on the "draconian law" just days after the violence.
"The Nagaland Legislative Assembly vehemently condemns the massacre that took place in Oting-Tiru Village area in Mon District on 4th December 2021 in the indiscriminate firing by the 21 Para Special Forces of the Indian Army in which 13 innocent people were killed, followed by the killing of one innocent person by security forces at Mon town on 5th December 2021, and injuring of 35 persons during the incidents," the resolution reads.
The House also called for an apology from appropriate authorities, along with an assurance that justice will be delivered and those who perpetrated the inhuman massacre will be tried by law.
The resolution urged locals and "citizens of the State" to cooperate with the government and its agencies in their "collective efforts to demand justice, and to restore normalcy in the interest of all the citizens".
"The House appreciates and supports citizens and civil society organizations in their demand for repealing of AFSPA and delivery of justice while appealing to all sections to follow democratic norms and non-violence in our collective endeavour towards realization of peace and delivery of justice."
The resolution further read, "The Naga people have been crying for peace and an early solution for the long-pending Naga political issue. It is of paramount importance that the people's voice is heard and respected."
The Assembly also appealed to the negotiating parties of the Indo-Naga political dialogue to bring the Naga Peace talks to its logical conclusion "by reaching a settlement that is honourable, inclusive and acceptable, at the earliest".
Nagaland is not the only northeast state to renew its demand to repeal AFSPA following the Oting massacre. Meghalaya's Conrad Sangma, whose party National People's Party is a member of the National Democratic Alliance, also called for its repeal, saying that AFSPA is counter-productive and has caused "more unrest".
The demand for repeal also saw a renewed momentum among the Opposition in Assam. The Congress in Manipur joined the growing chorus, vowing to push for "the immediate and complete removal of AFSPA" from the entire state if elected to power in the 2022 polls.