JORHAT: The North East Students' Union (NESU) condemning in the strongest terms the killing of 13 civilians at Oting in the Mon district of Nagaland by the Central security forces, called for protests against the incident in all the seven states of the region.
The NESU further demanded the scrapping of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) – the draconian anti-insurgent law applicable to the states in the North East. It gives powers to the security forces to search and seize and also protect soldiers who may kill a civilian by mistake or in unavoidable circumstances during an operation. The AFSPA is viewed in the North East as the reason why there have been so many killings of civilians by the armed forces in the name of insurgents in the region.
NESU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharyya addressing a press conference in Jorhat today said that the Centre spoke often of bringing peace in the North East permanently but in truth it was not serious in its intent as such violent incidents by the security personnel could never bring peace back to this region.
Condemning the act, Bhattacharyya said that all the people of North East stood by the people of Nagaland and that the grief of the Nagas was shared by all the states of the region.
"The NESO calls for protests to take place in each of the seven North East states to be led by the students' unions. In Assam, the AASU (All Assam Students' Union) will take up the cudgels on behalf of the indigenous people of Nagaland," said Bhattacharyya -- who is also the chief advisor of AASU.
Bhattacharyya further demanded a probe by a Special Investigation Team and stringent punishment to the guilty involved in the killing of innocent civilians.