The Government of India will institute a committe to look into the demand for the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Nagaland in the aftermath of the civilian killings, a state government release on Sunday said. The panel, which has been asked to submit its report in 45 days, will decide on whether AFSPA can be repealed from Nagaland and the state’s “disturbed area” status be removed.
This came after representatives of the Nagaland government, including Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, held a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Thursday to discuss the present scenario in Nagaland in the aftermath of the incident in Mon district’s Oting, where 14 civilians were killed in a security ambush and clashes that followed.
The meeting, which was chaired by Mr. Shah, was also attended by Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton, former Chief Minister TR Zeliang and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The delegation from Nagaland also appealed to the Union Home Ministry to replace the Assam Rifles Unit in Mon with immediate effect.
Calls for repeal of AFSPA, which gives sweeping powers to the security forces to arrest without warrant and even shoot to kill in certain situations, have been growing louder in Nagaland and other northeastern states since the incident in Oting. Massive protest rallies have been held in Kohima, with the Nagaland Cabinet also recommending the law’s repeal. Earlier this week, a special session of the Nagaland Assembly passed a unanimous resolution demanding the repeal of AFSPA.