The All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM), along with Naga civil society organisations in Manipur, paid homage to the victims of the Oting incident expressing “deep anguish” remembering the infamous massacre where 14 innocent Naga civilians were killed by the Indian Special Forces, the 21 Para commandos at Tiru-Oting road in Mon district of Nagaland December 4 and 5, 2021.
After observing the event in various places under its jurisdiction, the ANSAM issued a statement saying: “We offer our highest honour and pay homage to all the departed souls. Our heart also goes out to all the youth of Konyak Nagas who had suffered maimed and mangled during the dreadful terror tragedy unleashed by Indian state forces.”
The Naga student body also said that it was aghast by the “wilful” delaying of justice to the Oting victims of the most condemned terror act by the Government of India.
The ANSAM then expressed its resentment towards the “indifferent attitude” of the Government of India to the voices of the Naga people from across the Naga areas demanding the repeal of AFSPA, 1958 from “Naga homeland”. It said that Nagas are peace lovers and they were living in peace in their own system since time immemorial but problems arose only when the “Indian occupation came about in our land”.
The Naga student body then said that the imposition of a “draconian law called AFSPA” in Naga areas and tagged under “disturbed areas” remains ever a tragedy for civilians and thereby breaches the peaceful atmosphere in the villages. The ANSAM said that promulgation of AFSPA, 1958 in the Northeast states is the mother of all adversity resulting with army atrocities against the innocent public in the region repeatedly. “Continuation of such draconian law will bring nothing good for both India and Nagas,” it added.
According to the ANSAM, AFSPA has only brought India to international attention with its “shameful” records on human rights and value for human lives. “Stop all sorts of attempts to suppress and oppress the Naga people’s aspiration through militarization and further trying to criminalize our political issue,” it asked. “This belligerent and atrocious conduct of the State agencies itself is contrary to the spirit of the ongoing Indo-Naga ceasefire and the ongoing peace talks”.
The ANSAM then reminded the Government of India that it was the realization on the part of India that the Naga issue is political in nature that paved the way to negotiation and more than two decades of political talk. “We pray that the undeclared war on Naga civilians by the security forces should cease forthwith and repeal the AFSPA, 1958 and paves way for inclusive, honourable and acceptable Indo-Naga settlement”, the statement also said.