Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday said that the December 4 firing by the security forces that left 14 civilians killed and 30 others injured, was a misuse and abuse of the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958 which "is violative of human rights" and opposed by the Naga people for decades.
Addressing a tribute programme in Kohima in memory of the slain civilians, Rio appealed to the people not to retaliate against anyone in connection with the tragic incident.
He said that it is the time to defeat violence in a non-violent manner and asked the people to shun violence and show the nation that the AFSPA is not needed.
"The society cannot allow any force to derail the hard-won peace process," he said and hoped that the country and the rest of the world would understand the Nagas' story while Nagas also want lasting peace.
Former Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang, strongly demanding repeal of the AFSPA, said that the act brought only pain and suffering. He said that no amount of reason can justify the killing of innocent civilians and urged the government to leave no stones unturned to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Zeliang said that when the Nagas were anticipating the final breakthrough in the ongoing peace talks over Naga political issues, the December 4 incident had come as a rude shock.
Konyak Union's Kohima unit President H. Angnyei Konyak, detailing the December 4 incident at Oting, to call for revocation of the AFSPA.
"The country does not want to see another Oting (in Mon district) incident," he said and claimed that the misinformation was being spread by the media.
In the tribute programme, musical performances were presented by Kewhira Strings Quartet, Nagaland Conservatory of Music Choir, Sanctuary Choir, Union Baptist Church, Chubatola Imsong, Tali Angh and friends, Konyak Youths (East Story), Bozio Nienu and Ameu Usou Zao Choir.
Senior Pastor, Kohima Ao Baptist Church, Rev Sentisashi Aier, and Deputy Chief Minister Y. Patton also spoke in the event.
Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed by the state government to probe the December 4 incident, has requested the people having any information on the incident to contact it.
"Any person having photos, videos, of suspicious activities from primary source or any other information connected with the incident in original not forwarded (secondary source), may kindly share it in the interest of police investigation," a notification said.
The 5-member SIT has started its investigation under the overall supervision of Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Sandeep M. Tamgadge.
Meanwhile, the Army has also initiated the court of inquiry into the incident, which rocked the entire country.
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