After the Union government issued a notification saying that Nagaland is a "disturbed area" for another six months with effect from December 30, a mass public march has been scheduled to protest against the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) on January 10.
The gathering will meet at 4th-mile junction in Dimapur at 6 am on January 10 and march all the way to Kohima, where they would submit a memorandum against the Act to Nagaland Governor, Prof Jagdish Mukhi.
The people will spend the night at Piphema before starting the march on the following morning to Kohima, as per reports.
It may be mentioned, no political party or organisation will be a part of the march which will be a peaceful one against the government's decision.
The Centre on December 29, 2021, extended the Act till June 30 in Nagaland by stating that the State is in a "disturbed and dangerous condition” that it necessitates the use of armed forces in aid of civil power.
Many organisations and citizens in Nagaland have been protesting against AFSPA after 14 civilians were killed in a botched-up encounter by the Indian Armed Forces in Oting village in December 2021.
At least 14 civilians were killed on December 4 by the 21 Para Special Forces (SF) of the Army in a botched-up counter-insurgency operation in the Mon district of Nagaland. The first firing led to the death of six civilians who were coal miners and were mistook to be members of the terrorist outfit NSCN (K).
When the coal miners didn't return to their homes on time, the other villagers started looking for them and surrounded the Army vehicles when they found the dead bodies. The troops had to fire at the agitating civilians from which seven died on the spot. During that time, one Army jawan also died.
Following the incident, the Nagaland police filed an FIR against the 21 Para SF unit and said that the firing was without any provocation, intended to injure and kill civilians.
Currently, the army is conducting a court of inquiry into the incident.
It is to be mentioned that the army has also agreed to give access to Nagaland's Special Investigation Team, or SIT, to record the statements of soldiers who were involved in the ambush on December 4 and it is expected to submit its report next month.