Centre Considering To Repeal AFSPA From Nagaland: CM Neiphiu Rio

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said: ‘The central government is considering the matter and we are hopeful of a positive decision soon’.

Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio.

The Centre is considering Nagaland's demand of removal of AFSPA from the state, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said on Wednesday, expressing hope for a "positive decision".

Addressing the Republic Day function at the Civil Secretariat here, Rio said the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the killing of 14 civilians by security forces in Mon has made good progress. 

"We are taking every measure to lessen the pain of the family members, who lost their near and dear ones, as well as of all those who suffered injuries," he said.

We are sure that justice will be delivered to the families, he added.

Following the Mon killings, the state cabinet decided to take up with the Centre the immediate repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958, while a resolution was passed in the assembly on December 20 in this regard, Rio said.

The state government has taken up with the Centre the matter of removal of AFSPA from Nagaland, he said.

"The central government is considering the matter and we are hopeful of a positive decision soon," Rio said.        

Maintaining that negotiations between the Naga Political Groups and the Centre over the political issue have been going on in a cordial atmosphere to find a solution, the chief minister said all MLAs have come together and formed an opposition-less government to convey to the negotiating parties that the state expects an honorable, inclusive and acceptable solution.

"We will continue to facilitate and be hopeful of an early solution," he said.

Rio said ensuring good governance and bringing it to the doorstep of every person has been the endeavor of his government.

"We took another step towards this end by creating three new districts, Tseminyu, Niuland and Chumoukedima in December 2021, and Shamator District in January 2022," he said.

The chief minister urged the people to continue adhering to COVID-appropriate behaviour as he took the booster dose of vaccine just after the function.

Rio said Nagaland, which is nearing six decades as a state, has been capably marching shoulder to shoulder with all the other states of the Union and contributing in strengthening the nation.

Despite the call for non-participation in the Republic Day celebrations by the Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation and the Naga Students' Federation over the Mon killings, the celebrations went off peacefully, an official said.

Altogether 13 marching contingents from different security forces and NCC participated in the Republic Day parade.

Several awards were presented during the function, while cultural performances by TaFMA, Department of Women Resource Development, 37th Battalion of BSF and troupes of Angami, Rengma, Lotha and Sumi enthralled the gathering.