Hundreds of Naga men and women from all walks of life on Monday began a two-day walk-a-thon covering 70 km from Dimapur to the state capital of Kohima demanding the repeal of the 1958 Armed Forces Act (power special) (AFSPA) and justice for the 14 civilians killed by security forces in Mon district in December last year.
Holding placards and banners with messages demanding the repeal of AFSPA, which they called a “draconian” act, people waved slogans demanding justice for the 14 civilians who were killed by the forces of security on December 4 and 5 of last year.
The two-day walkathon is being led by various Naga civil society organizations after a massive social media campaign in recent weeks.
As the walk to Kohima will pass through several villages and small towns, more men and women are expected to join the march, organizers said.
Marathon participants would make a night stop at Piphema, halfway to Kohima, before resuming walking on Tuesday morning.
In Kohima, the marchethon leaders would submit a memorandum to the Center through the acting state governor, Jagdish Mukhi.
Eastern Naga Students Federation President Chingmak Chang said the march-a-thon was organized to tell central and state governments to repeal AFSPA as soon as possible and bring justice to the 14 innocent civilians who lost their lives last month.
He said the democratic march is peaceful and aims to convey the resentment of the people against AFSPA and to protect the dignity of the Nagas as human beings.
“We will continue our programs in various ways until the government responds positively to our demands,” Chang told media.
He said that regardless of the massive demand to repeal AFSPA following the Mon district massacre, the Center extended the law for another six months on December 30, which is quite intolerable.
After the killings in Mon district, Nagaland witnessed continued unrest in various forms demanding the repeal of AFSPA and punishment of security personnel who killed 14 Naga people and injured 30 others.
In addition to the three wings of Konyak’s unions, several other organizations, including the Naga People’s Front (NPF), the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) and the ruling Nationalist Democratic Party (NDPP), have campaigned to repeal AFSPA. throughout the Northeast Region.
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