Public Statement of NPMHR
“A leopard neverchanges its spots”, it goes. The Indian army personnel hasonce again gone berserk at Longkhojan village under Longding District of Arunachal Pradesh on the 18th of November 2018, where 23 persons (men, women, church and village leaders and elders) were physically and mentally tortured and detained whole night in the open ground without food, water or warm clothes. The army released them the next day after they forced the village Chief and Gaon Boras (GBs) to sign on blank papers at gun point under the sanction of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958, – a repetition of the modus operandi used on innocent and simple villagers for the last70 years of army atrocities on the Naga people everywhere.
It is ascertained that the Administrative head of the area, the EAC of Kanubari, had written to the Deputy Commissioner of Longding to take stock of the matter, while at the same time, the victims had also filed and registered an FIR against the IndianArmy. The Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha from Arunchal Pradesh Mr. Ninong Ering has also written to the Prime minister of India seeking his immediate intervention to initiate action against the erring Indian Army personnel. The MP also has specifically mentioned that; “Even though the Govt. of India and the NSCN (IM)/K and other organizations are under cease-fire, but they (Indian army) are active in the three districts of Arunachal Pradesh that are Tirap, Changlang and Longding respectively”. Expectedly, the Government of India with its professed democratic principles and rule of law cannot even rein in the unruly and its most in human armed forces from committing such terrorism and crime against humanity.
NPMHR stands in solidarity with the Nagas of Arunachal Pradesh, who are now faced with suppression and strangulation of their rights and articulations without any democratic space under extreme militarization. While the Government of India can delay justice, it will not be able to deny justice forever. For, “no matter how long the night, day will surely come”.
NPMHR also expresses its solidarity with our fellow-human rights defender Agnes Kharshiing and her colleague Amita Sangma, who were brutally assaulted on November 8, at Tuber Sohshrieh in East Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya in their mission against illegal coal mining. We wish them speedy recovery to further the cause of the people. Learning that almost all the culprits are arrested, we urge the Government of Meghalaya to uphold justice and confer just penalty to the culprits where such delivery must serve as a deterrent to similar illegal mining activities sprouting all over North East India, including Nagaland, where the Governments of the day are unable to raise even a “voice of concern” because of which activists such as Agnes Kharshiing and their likes face the brunt of mining mafias who collaborate with political powers that be.
NPMHR is grateful to the National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM) for facilitating delegates representing more than a hundred social, democratic and human rights organizations from all over the Indian sub-continent to also visit Nagaland as part of their Yatra from marking the historic Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt March from Dandi to Delhi in 1930, to protest against British Rule in India. This has come at a most appropriate time, when democratic institutions and human rights defenders of the world’s largest democracy have become easy and soft targets and victims of a fascist-like government in place. We are all the more pleased and honoured to host the Yatra, which has taken note of the situation of the Naga people on first hand account in the backdrop of the Government of India’s dishonoring of their own words time and again in the last more than 21 years of Political negotiations and Peace Talks.
We shall continue to extend our solidarity with all democratic struggles and human rights movements in India. NPMHR shall also join the Samvidhan Samman Yatra in their Culmination Programme at New Delhi.We stand, as ever, against state- sponsored terrorism anywhere in the world.
Issued by: Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights
Dated Kohima the 28th November 2018.