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Why AFSPA again now? questions political parties, NMA

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, JUNE 30: Extension of Disturbed Area Act in the State by the Union Government has not come as a surprise, but political parties and organizations wonder why this so-called ‘draconian law’ should be extended when the negotiations are going on with the Naga outfits.

The political parties and Naga organizations have been questioning the motive of the Central Government over this issue for quite sometimes.
The Centre to further extended the DAA under Armed forces (Special Powers) Act in the State stating “Whereas the Central Government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of the State of Nagaland is in a disturbed and dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary”.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in a notification issued today said in exercise of the powers conferred by Section of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 the Union Government declares that whole of Nagaland to be disturbed area for a period of 6 months with effect from June 30.
Except the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), which is now operating in Myanmar, there is no banned outfit operating in Nagaland, the Centre is currently engaged in peace process with some of the Naga armed groups. Subsequently there has been peaceful situation in the state, barring cases of alleged collections by outfits.

The AFSPA has been vehemently condemned by several human rights organizations and political parties, as it give extra-ordinary powers to Armed Forces to act against suspected people in areas covered by this Act. Cutting across party line, political parties in the State and Naga civil organizations have been terming the Act as heinous and inhuman and demanded that this Act should not be imposed in the State when there is peace process underway.
The ruling Nationalist Democratic People’s Party (NDPP) said this Act has been extended in the State despite opposition from the State Government. The former Minister and Party Spokesman, Merentoshi Jamir said regardless of the State Government writing to the Centre AFSPA used to be extended in the State.
“The fact that the State Cabinet writing to the MHA, every time the AFSPA is up for extension, the Government of India keeps extending it” he added.
Former Assembly Speaker and NPF Lawmaker, Chotisuh Sazo said when Naga groups are in truce with the Union Government and talks are underway to resolve the issue why the Central Government should impose such law in Nagaland. He said relatively Nagaland has become peaceful State since the last couple of years and demanded that the Act be revoked.
Another former Minister and senior NPF MLA, Yitachu said his party can never support AFSPA. “The party can never support, and that our stand is consistent stand. The party is against the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of Government of India”, he said.

The Congress said it is a grim reminder of unresolved political issue which also runs contrary to the claims of the earlier DAN and PDA Governments that peaceful situation exists.
The Naga Mother’s Association (NMA) has strongly objected extension of AFSPA for another 6 months.
Advisor of NMA, Dr. Rosemary Dzuvichu said it is highly objectionable in the midst of seeking for peace. “Such words and excuses are being given again for extension of AFSPA. How can they say that State is in a disturbed and dangerous condition when the Government of India is aware that all Naga political groups and people await a peace accord?” she questioned. She said NMA strongly questions the extension of AFSPA.
More reactions are likely to pour in, in the next few days from political parties and civil society organizations.
(Page News Service)