Kohima, 27 September (MTNews): In a resounding expression of opposition, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has firmly condemned the extension of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in the Naga homeland which was notified through a notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs on 26 September 2023. The MHA in the notification cited “Law and Order” problems as the reason why the law was extended to which the NSF argued that it is an “attempt to project the Nagaland state as a land of lawlessness and chaos.”
The NSF asserted that the continuation of AFSPA in the Naga homeland is “not just regrettable but is an affront to the principles of democracy, justice, and human rights.”
Stating that over the years, this legislation has been “synonymous with grave human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, and violations of civil liberties by armed personnel acting on behalf of the state,” the NSF stated that it further exacerbates the mistrust between the civilian population and the security forces.
“It is a testament to the erosion of democratic principles when such legislation continues to be applied in a region that aspires for peace, justice, and reconciliation, which the Naga people have endured the ramifications of this draconian law for far too long,” stated the NSF.
The Naga Students’ Federation called upon the Government of India to repeal AFSPA and to initiate a genuine process of conflict resolution that respects the rights and dignity of the Naga people. It implored the government to uphold the principles of justice, human rights, and the rule of law in the region.
Furthermore, the NSF has urged the Indian government to engage in constructive dialogue with all stakeholders to work towards a comprehensive and lasting solution to the Indo-Naga issue. It emphasized the importance of fostering an atmosphere of trust and reconciliation as part of this process. The NSF reaffirmed its commitment to advocating for the rights and aspirations of the Naga people, stating that they stand “united with the Naga people in our quest for a just and peaceful society.”