NEDF, EHWF condemn Nagaland killings, demand repeal of AFSPA

SHILLONG, 7 Dec: The North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF) has strongly condemned the 4 December killing of 14 civilians by “Assam Rifles (AR) personnel” in Nagaland’s Mon district, and sought constituting of an independent, credible and impartial investigation team to examine the killings “within a timeframe, so that this report can be submitted to the double bench of the Supreme Court of India presently working on the cases of extrajudicial execution

for further legal action against the perpetrators and the commander concerned of the AR.”

In a memorandum to the chief ministers of the seven Northeast states, the forum appealed to them and the prime minister to provide immediate compensation of Rs 10 lakhs each as relief and rehabilitation of the families who lost their bread earners.

The forum also appealed to the CMs to convene an emergency meeting “to discuss the situation of high-handedness of the AR under the AFSPA and take steps to repeal the AFSPA, 1958 from the northeastern region immediately.”

The NEDF further requested for respecting “the recommendation of Justice Santosh Hegde Commission of Supreme Court of India, Justice Jeevan Reddy Commission and the 12 special rapporteur and treaty bodies of the Human Rights Council of the UN to repeal the AFSPA as a matter of urgency.”

It appealed to the CMs and the PM to invite the special rapporteur on extrajudicial execution, the special rapporteur on rights of minorities, and the special rapporteur on rights of indigenous peoples “to witness the grave human rights violation by the AR in the name of counter insurgencies.”

Another Shillong-based organization, the Eastern Himalayan Women Forum (EHWF) expressed grief over the killing of the civilians and condemned “the act of the security forces where they shot before identifying the occupants.”

“This is purely an act of atrocity which is empowered by the AFSPA. The incident proved a total failure of the Nagaland intelligence bureau as well as the home ministry’s intelligence bureau,” it said in a release.

The EHWF expressed condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives, and prayed for early recovery of those injured.

Asking the central government and the president of India to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA from all northeastern states and Kashmir, it called for forming a proper special investigation team to probe the Nagaland incident.

“We also ask the government to give proper compensation in cash and kind to the bereaved families,” it said.