July 5, 2015 3:41:00 am
The Naga Mothers’ Association, an influential civil society group in Nagaland, has asked the government to persuade the NSCN(K) and New Delhi to sign a ceasefire agreement “in the interest of peace and security of the people”.
Expressing concern over the recent spate of violence perpetrated by the NSCN(K), which abrogated the 2001 ceasefire agreement, the NMA, in a memorandum to Chief Minister T R Zeliang and the Joint Legislators’ Forum, said this has led to fresh incidents of violence and increase in militarisation in Naga hills. The NMA said peace was not possible without a ceasefire agreement.
Asking Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang as well as the JRF to take cognizance of the necessity to have a sustainable peace in the state, the NMA said keeping the NSCN(K) faction out cannot ensure peace as it had already started indulging in violence. The state government should advise New Delhi to bring the NSCN(K) back into ceasefire mode, it said.
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The NSCN(K) had abrogated ceasefire in March this year, following which it launched a series of attacks on security forces, the worst being Chandel district in Manipur on June 5 in which 18 jawans of the Indian Army on June 5. The government on its part had intensified operations against the faction in the past one month.
Also reitering its demand for withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from the hill state, the Naga Women’s Association said decades of “unwarranted” militarization, violence and killing and immunity under AFSPA had brought its heaviest toll on women and children, making Nagaland a state with the highest number of war widows in the country.
“Naga women have over the decades narrated their bitter experiences under militarization and raised their strong objection to continuation of AFSPA before the Justice Verma Committee, which had prompted the Committee to recommend repeal of the Act, it said. “Therefore, the NMA urges the state government to recommend (to the Centre) repeal of this draconian law at the earliest, to ensure a peaceful, democratic atmosphere and an end to continuing militarization and conflict,” it said.
The NMA instead suggested recalling to the state all Naga IRB forces posted in different parts of the country and deploy them in maintaining law and order and security in Nagaland. This way the government can also withdraw all armed and para-military forces from the state, it said. “We echo the voices and cries of every family that has suffered in the longest decades of prolonged conflict .We also hope that as men of honor, elected to represent the people, the esteemed Joint Legislators Forum will take due cognizance of this memorandum and work to create a democratic atmosphere to usher lasting peace in our land,” it said.
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