‘AFSPA is nothing more than the surrender of democracy’

Dimapur, July 12 (MExN): The recent extension of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for one year in Nagaland shows the failure of the government at the centre of lacking in courage to repeal the act in respect of the people, Ravi Nitesh, convener of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC) said on Sunday.


SSSC, which has been advocating for repeal of AFSPA from all areas while keeping its faith upon non violence struggle of Irom Sharmila, stated that the extension of AFSPA in Nagaland is not only unfortunate and condemnable, but it also shows how much incapable the government is.


Everyone knows that AFSPA is discriminatory, unconstitutional and a harsh act that provides extraordinary powers to security forces in disturbed regions, without asking for any accountability, the SSSC stated while reminding that, “these unstopped use of powers by security forces have been used in serious situations of violations of human rights. By this act, security forces start behaving like criminals who have unchecked powers and accountability.”


With such kind of imposition, the SSSC pointed out that it is the “military that is ruling the democracy in these regions” (states where AFSPA is in force) and state democracy has failed itself by adopting such repressive paths of handing over powers in military hand. “It is nothing more than a surrender,” it said.
The SSSC also criticised Nagaland government for their failure in handling of the situation and in advocating the voice to repeal AFSPA.


“Even elected MPs from North East and local assembly representatives are not coming forward with full courage and strength to voice for repeal of AFSPA,” it further mentioned.


Further, the SSSC decried Kiren Rijiju, a minister in the Central government and a citizen from North East, for not voicing out against the order of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) which only proved himself as “an opportunist politician rather than being a true representative of people.”


Also referring to media reports that Rijiju was bypassed in this decision, the SSSC maintained that if this was true, Rijiju must clarify and should come in front to advocate what is right for Nagaland. SSSC pledged that it will continue its efforts to advocate for Repeal of AFSPA.