Following the killing of over two dozen civilians by government forces Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio called for the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958, saying the “law has blackened the image of the country”
“We are asking the central government to remove Afspa from Nagaland,” Neiphiu Rio was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Nagaland chief minister also said he has spoken to Union home minister Amit Shah on the issue. “He is taking the matter very seriously. We have given financial assistance to affected families,” Neiphiu Rio said.
The Union ministry of home affairs in June extended Afspa in Nagaland for another six months and it will remain in force in the northeastern state until December 31.
Afspa is also in force in Assam, Manipur (except Imphal Municipal area), the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh and the areas under the jurisdiction of the eight police stations in the districts of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Assam.
Earlier, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma also said Afspa, which grants special powers to the armed forces to maintain public order areas designated as “disturbed” by the government, should be repealed.
The killing of the civilians in Mon sparked a countrywide wave of condemnation and revived the old-running demand to repeal Afspa from the northeastern state. Civil rights groups and experts allege that the “draconian law” gives security forces a cover from committing atrocities on civilians.
Members of Parliament also discussed the issue in the Lok Sabha on Monday, as they joined the demand to repeal Afspa from Nagaland.
Stressing that emotional integration of people living in border areas is extremely important for the unity and integrity of the country, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari urged the government not to invoke immunity under the Afspa against those who are found guilty.
“The Afspa has not given powers to security forces to indiscriminately kill people,” said Tokheho Yepthomi of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) Yepthomi