Latest Breaking News India

Nagaland Govt Calls For AFSPA Repeal; Hornbill Festival Cancelled

New Delhi: After 14 civilians were killed by security forces in Mon district at the weekend, the Nagaland cabinet called an emergency sitting and decided to appeal to the Home Ministry to repeal the Armed Formed (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) on Tuesday.

Chaired by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, the meeting also decided to cancel the ongoing Hornbill Festival and ordered the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to complete its probe into the incident in a month’s time.

Minister of Planning and Parliamentary Affairs and Nagaland government spokesperson, Neiba Kronu, and Minister of Higher and Technical Education, Temjen Imna, briefed the media about the action taken following the botched-up security operation. They also announced the setting up of the SIT headed by an IG-rank officer and grant of ex-gratia to the next of kin of the 14 victims.

“AFSPA is renewed periodically and it is not a subject matter that is handled by the state. The Centre decides on this in consultation with the state. So, it was decided in the meeting that we will appeal to the Government of India to repeal AFSPA from Nagaland,” Along was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

CM Neiphiu Rio had backed the demand for a repeal of AFSPA when he attended the funeral of the 14 civilians in Mon town on Monday.

According to the ministers, the Nagaland government was “planning” to hold a meeting of the Core Committee on Naga Political Issues on Thursday, December 9. Assam Chief Minister and Northeast Development Authority chairman, Himanta Biswa Sarma is also likely to be present in the meeting.

“People being killed following a case of mistaken identity or on the basis of misinformation is very unfortunate. The investigating agencies will come out with a report. We have given SIT one month to complete the probe,” said Kronu.

While calling off the Hornbill festival, he said, “All activities of Hornbill Festival, 2021, should cease in view of mourning announced for the deceased in the firing incidents in Mon district.”

The annual 10-day tourism extravaganza Hornbill Festival held at Naga Heritage Village in Kisama near Kohima was set to conclude on December 10.