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NMA seeks repeal of AFSPA, protests extension of DAA

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Dimapur, July 23: The Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) has registered its protest against the extension of Disturbed Area Act (DAA) and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland once again, in the midst of the ongoing peace process.
In a representation to Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, the NMA said, “As mothers who have witnessed decades of armed violence militarization, killings and violation of human rights, we urge the Government to protect our right to peace and security, without such Draconian laws.”
The NMA also sought to repeal of AFSPA for a fruitful, peaceful conclusion of the Naga political issue in an atmosphere of respect and mutual understanding.
The NMA said government notification on ban on sale of dog meat has raised varied controversies. It said the dog meat is a traditional delicacy among many tribes in the state, used for medicinal purposes, sportsmen of traditional wresting for strength, pregnancy and childbirth and lactating mother as nutrition.
It alleged that the government has not made any strong efforts to sensitize public with campaigns on taking care of pet dogs, avoiding cruelty to animals or risk of rabies and instead resorted to this blanket ban.
The representation signed by NMA president, Abeiu Meru and secretary, Lochumbeni Humtsoe stated, “We protest against the state invading our kitchens and our food habits. While we do not endorse cruelty to animals, banning certain food that is an inherent part of culture of certain tribes is objectionable.”
The NMA urged the Chief Minister to revoke the ban on dog meat and start a campaign on sensitizing public against cruelty to animals.
On the latest order of the state government asking government servants to declare relationships with any NPG leader, the NMA said the order is bereft of historical understanding, that the Naga struggle began with a male volunteer from every Naga family to join the movement.
It said till today this exist in many Naga villages and families, whether with or without the active consent of family members, adding families of pro-government have been ostracized for generations because of the effect of killings and sufferings and killings of thousands who volunteered.
Stating that this Naga reality must be understood till a settlement of the Naga political issue is realized, the NMA said the credibility of government servants who have decided to earnestly work for the betterment of the state cannot be questioned at this stage of ongoing peace dialogue, because all citizens want peace.
It urged the Chief Minister to revoke the order and form and instill trust and confidence on its public servants.
Meanwhile, supporting the various voices for accountability and a corruption free state, the NMA urged the state leadership to take cognizance of serious financial and procedure irregularities highlighted in the public domain.
It said many PILs on corruption, lack of health care facilities, Anganwadi centres and maternal deaths been filed in courts, including one filed against police delay in investigation and corruption in the Supreme Court, filed by two of its activist members.
It also said the Lokayukta Act needs to be revisited with more powers.
The NMA also extended gratitude to all frontline workers, including all government officials in different districts in this pandemic crisis and thanked them for giving their best to keep the citizens safe.
It said strategies for employment of children not only returnees, but the thousands of unemployed youth must be seriously worked out on a war footing to ensure a secure future and development and progress in the state. (Page News Service)