Kohima, 1 April (MTNews): In a strong condemnation of the recent decision by the Central Government, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has expressed its outrage over the extension of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the Naga homeland. It called upon the Government of India to immediately revoke the extension of AFSPA in Nagaland and engage in sincere dialogue with all stakeholders to address the underlying grievances and aspirations of the Naga people.

The Center’s declaration to extend AFSPA in eight districts and 21 police stations across five other districts of Nagaland until 30 September 2024 is not just a matter of legal technicalities; it represents a continued disregard for the rights, dignity, and aspirations of the Naga people, stated the NSF.

AFSPA, a draconian law, has long been associated with egregious human rights violations, extrajudicial killings, and systemic abuses of power by the armed forces operating in the region. According to NSF, it has deepened the mistrust and alienation between the civilian population and the security forces.

“Instead of addressing the root causes of conflict and working towards a meaningful resolution, the government has chosen to perpetuate a system of state-sanctioned violence and oppression,” added the NSF.

The NSF believes that the extension of AFSPA is not only unjust but also counterproductive to the goal of achieving lasting peace and stability in Nagaland. “By empowering security forces with sweeping powers and impunity, AFSPA only serves to further destabilize our communities and undermine the prospects for genuine peace building and reconciliation,” it added.

Furthermore, it urged the international community, human rights organizations, and all people of conscience to stand in solidarity with the Naga people in their struggle against the oppressive regime of AFSPA.

“We will not rest until our voices are heard, our rights are respected, and our homeland is free from the shackles of militarization and oppression,” it added.

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