Repeal AFSPA

Monday Musing

[ Tongam Rina ]

Security forces massacred at least 14 Nagas in Oting, in Mon district of Nagaland, on the evening of 4 December.

The civilians were returning home from work when they were murdered by the security personnel, mistaking them for insurgents.

The security personnel did not stop there. They killed more people after villagers retaliated, in which one security jawan was also killed.

The spokesperson of the 3 Corps said that security personnel “planned a specific operation based on credible intelligence report of likely movement of insurgents.”

It is not new that trigger-happy Indian armed forces deployed in the northeastern states almost always hide under ‘credible intelligence input’ for the murder of civilians.

The forces have killed and maimed citizens of the region, particularly in Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal, in recent times, knowing full well that they are protected and licenced by the Indian state under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA to carry out unimaginable violence.

The Act gives unprecedented power to the security forces in the name of national security. In the name of national security, India has killed and maimed its own citizens for decades.

The onus is now on the politicians of the region to pressurize the Indian state to repeal the AFSPA. The Act has not achieved anything. It has only empowered the Indian security forces to kill and maim people in the region and to rape, unquestioned and with brute force typical of a colonizer.

If India is serious about bringing peace in the disturbed areas of the region, the first step is to repeal the Act.