The 𝐎𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭 once again 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬 the recurring 𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐒𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐏𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐀𝐜𝐭 (AFSPA), Naga people’s historical struggle, written in blood.
It is essential to remember that the Indian armed forces’ occupation of Nagalim is viewed as an invasion, where 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐍𝐚𝐠𝐚 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐬𝐮𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐲/ 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐨𝐫..
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐭, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 how you were 𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝, & every Naga people will not forget the cause for which we sacrificed our beloved one, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐎𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐃𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟒, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏, 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥.
2 years ago, in a blatant violation of human rights, 14 innocent civilians were gunned down by the trigger-happy 21st Para Commandos/Assam Rifles at Oting village in Mon district, Nagaland state. This tragic event serves as a grim reminder of the horrors faced by the Naga people in their historical struggle, written in blood. The Oting incident sends a clear message that the invading forces cherish the land but not its people.
Adding to a series of regrettable events in recent memory, the Oting incident once again highlights the recurring misuse and abuse of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Since October 18, 1952, where Nagas first tasted the bullets of the Indian Armed Forces, the Indian state employed military means to solve the Naga political issue. Despite large-scale human rights violations and destruction of properties, the resilience of the Naga people has proven that the Indian forces cannot crush their spirit.
It is essential to remember that the Indian armed forces’ occupation in Nagalim is viewed as an invasion, where every Naga is treated with suspicion or as an enemy. Therefore, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) should and must be repealed from Nagalim to prevent another tragic incident like Oting.
Note: The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, known as AFSPA, originated as wartime martial law introduced by the British colonial power during WWII. After India gained independence, the same law was promulgated in the then NAGA Hills District in 1958 for an initial 6-month period. Unfortunately, it has endured for over 60 years. AFSPA grants the Indian Armed Forces impunity, allowing personnel, even those of non-commissioned rank, to shoot and kill on mere suspicion, and they cannot be brought before a court of law without prior sanctions from the Government of India (GOI).