SHILLONG: Meghalaya Lok Sabha MP Agatha Sangma, strongly condemning the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), has demanded its scrapping in the aftermath of the bloodshed in eastern Nagaland's Mon district.
Addressing the Speaker, Sangma said that this is not the first time that innocent civilians have had too bear the brunt of draconian laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Referring to the Act as the “elephant in the room”, Sangma said that even the Jeevan Reddy committee had recommended that this Act be scrapped.
“The reason why AFSPA was enacted in 1958 was to ensure that insurgency be stopped in Northeast, but it has not been able to do that,” Sangma said, adding that AFSPA “has caused civilians to be unfairly tortured, raped, and killed.”
Agatha also pointed to the ‘Malom Massacre’ that occurred in 2000, leaving 10 dead and caused Iron Sharmila to begin her strike.
Sangma also recited the words by poetess Maya Angelou “I come as one but I stand as 10,000”, adding that the incident has been condemned by all sections of society.
Fifteen people - thirteen civilians and a solider - died in a firing incident between Oting and Tiru villages in Nagaland's Mon district on Saturday evening, Superintendent of Police Imnalensa confirmed.
According to an official, a group of daily-wage labourers from Oting village were returning home from a coal mine in a pick-up van when they were allegedly shot at by security forces. Local sources said that volunteers from the village had gone searching for them as they had not returned for several hours and found their bodies in the van.
In anger, the locals reportedly set two vehicles belonging to the security forces on fire.
Another civilian was killed in violent protests that swept the district in the wake of the tragic incident.
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