Nagaland to again ask Centre to repeal AFSPA, says CM Rio

NEW DELHI, Jan 26: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday said that after the state Assembly in December 20 last year adopted a unanimous resolution seeking the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, the state cabinet has recently decided to take up the matter with the Centre for immediate repeal of the law.

Unfurling the national flag on the occasion of the Republic Day at the Nagaland Civil Secretariat Plaza in Kohima, the Chief Minister, extending his solidarity to the family members of the 14 victims killed by the security forces in Mon district, asserted that the Special Investigation Team of the Nagaland Police is making good progress in its investigation.

The Army has also constituted a Court of Inquiry and its probe is reportedly being completed at a fast pace, he said.

Rio said that negotiations between the Naga Political Groups and the Centre have been going on in a cordial atmosphere to find a solution.

“All the members of the Nagaland Assembly have also come together (last year) and formed an opposition-less Government to convey to the negotiating parties to give us an honourable, inclusive and acceptable solution,” he added.

Various Naga groups and organisations in Nagaland and Manipur earlier called the people to abstain from Republic Day celebrations to protest the Mon killings and delay in Naga peace process. The Naga organisations, including Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation, All Naga Students’ Association, and the United Naga Council, are also strongly opposing the AFSPA and demanding repeal of the “draconian law”.

The Chief Minister also said that to ensure good governance in an effective manner, the state Government created four new districts — Tseminyu, Niuland, Chumoukedima and Shamator — in December and January.

As part of the Community Outreach Programme, a mobile application “Call Your Cop” was launched by the state police and that would allow citizens to get in touch with police personnel on duty in an easier manner, he said.

Rio said that as part of the Japan International Cooperation Agency-assisted Nagaland Forest Management Project, the Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has covered 91 villages across the state and would further cover 94 more villages.

The Chief Minister said that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is in the process of launching an Externally Aided Programme through Asian Development Bank, under which the Department of Urban Development shall be taking up various infrastructure works in the district headquarters.

He also said that the Tourism Department, in collaboration with the Centre, organised the 9th edition of International Tourism Mart with nearly 200 participants including from the neighbouring countries of Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Brunei.

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