More than 100 students from different colleges and communities on Thursday held a sit-in protest and mass candlelight march in Itanagar against the Nagaland civilian’s killings.
The demonstration was led by the All Arunachal Pradesh Student Union in collaboration with the North East Student Organization (NESO) at Indira Gandhi National Park, Itanagar.
The demonstrators also included 15 Naga Students from NERIST (North East Regional Institute of Science and Technology), Nirjuli, Arunachal Pradesh. They demanded the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA).
Speaking to ANI, social activist and scholar of Rajiv Gandhi University Prem Taba said, “We are here to pay homage to the 14 innocent civilians who were killed by the Indian Army in Nagaland. The anti-democracy and colonial Laws like AFSPA should be abolished from the Northeast.”
“My message to the Naga brothers and sisters out there is that, be strong and be brave because they have been living with AFSPA for almost four decades, we are with them,” Taba added.
All Arunachal Pradesh Student Union vice president Meje Taku expressed solidarity with the people of Nagaland.
Addressing the public, Taku said, “AFSPA is a Draconian Law which has been misused throughout the history. I request all the Naga Brothers stay strong as it is indeed a tough time for all of us.”
The firing incident in Nagaland’s Mon district on December 4 left 14 civilians dead.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday directed all agencies to ensure that “no such unfortunate incident recurs in future while undertaking operations against insurgents”.
Earlier on Monday, Home Minister Amit Shah had termed the killing of civilians by security forces in Nagaland a “case of mistaken identity” and informed that a special investigation team (SIT) has been formed with direction to submit its report on the unfortunate incident within one month.
On June 30, the Ministry of Home Affairs extended the AFSPA in Nagaland for another six months. According to a notification by the MHA, the Act will remain in effect in Nagaland until December 31. (ANI)