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NSF demands court monitored probe into Nagaland firing

Nagaland,National,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Politics

Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Kohima, Dec 17 (IANS) Protest rallies were organissd by the influential Naga Students' Federation (NSF) in Kohima on Friday demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) and a court monitored probe into the killing of 14 civilians by armed forces personnel due to "mistaken identity" in Nagaland on December 4.

The NSF in a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanded to constitute a court monitored committee headed by a retired Supreme Court or high court judge to ensure free and fair probe into the matter.

"The Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the Nagaland government to probe the December 4 incident would not do justice to the wilful acts of the armed forces under the protection of the repressive AFSPA," the memorandum said.

Thousands of men and women took part in the protests displaying banners and placards that read "how many times bullets will be fired before repealing AFSPA", "AFSPA rears devil in the Indian armies" and "ban AFSPA, not our voice" etc.

Protests are continuing in different parts of Nagaland since the December 4 firing by the security forces, and the biggest protest rallies were organised in the capital city on Friday.

Various Naga civil society organisations, including the Konyak Union and the Eastern Nagaland Peoples' Organisation (ENPO), have been spearheading the agitations, while the NSF took the lead in Friday's protest rallies.

Demanding immediate arrest of the soldiers involved in the December 4 firing, the protesters also demanded to withdraw Home Minister Amit Shah's "false and fabricated" statement given in the Parliament on December 6.

Shah in his statements in both the Houses of Parliament had said that during the ambush in Mon district in Nagaland, a vehicle reached near the barricade and the army soldiers tried to stop the vehicle, but it did not stop.

"On suspicion of the vehicle having insurgents, it was attacked in which six out of eight people were killed and several were injured," the Home Minister had said.

The NSF in its memorandum to the Prime Minister demanded repeal of AFSPA, justice for the victims and arrest of the jawans who were involved in the firing.

Detailing the incidents of "killing and torture by the security forces since 1960", the memorandum said that the "government of India continued to suppress the legitimate people's movement through military means even after having realised that the same would not reap the desired dividends".

"Some Indian leaders are coming out publicly to defend the atrocious acts and thereby legitimising the murders, tortures, rapes, molestations of innocent Naga civilians and botched army operations, deeply hurting the sentiments of the Naga people while also flaring up our emotions," the six-page memorandum said.

Konyak civil society organisations had earlier announced total non-cooperation with the armed forces besides imposing restrictions on their movement in the tribal dominated areas. They also said that no ex-gratia or compensation from the government would be accepted until justice was delivered to all the 14 victims.

Meanwhile, the business advisory committee of the Assembly on Friday finalised the schedule of the special session of the Assembly on December 20 to discuss and pass a resolution for repealing AFSPA.

--IANS

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