TODAY -

Total shutdown protests Mon massacre
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, December 06 2021: All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) imposed a 6-hour total shutdown in Manipur sector of the Imphal-Dimapur road (NH-2) on Monday in protest against the killing of 14 civilians by Assam Rifles at Oting village of Mon district in Nagaland.

Condemning the incident, the students' body imposed the total shutdown from 6 am till noon.

Several volunteers came out onto the road in Karong area and blocked the road, forcing trucks carrying goods and passenger vehicles on both sides of the highway to wait till the blockade was lifted.

However, there were no reports of any unwanted incidents during the shutdown.

The total shutdown called by NSF also affected normal life severely in Chandel district with Naga Students Union Chandel (NSUC) and its federating units endorsing the bandh in protest against the Oting incident.

Markets, shops and establishments remained closed in Japhou Bazar and other commercial areas.

Except for essential services and emergency purpose no vehicles plied.

Bandh supporters blocked the roads at Liwa Changning, Chandel DC Lamphai and Thamlapokpi areas.

District police kept close watch on the situation and no unwanted incidents occurred during the bandh.

The shutdown was enforced in response to the call given by the Naga Students' Federation (NSF) for six-hour shutdown across Naga-inhabited areas, to denounce the killing of civilians by security forces in Mon district.

Addressing a press conference at the NSF office in Kohima on Monday, NSF president Kegwayhun Tep said that the 6-hour bandh was successfully conducted by its units and subordinate bodies.

He informed that during the shutdown, there were confrontations between the NSF volunteers and security forces in three locations - Kohima, Dimapur and Meluri.

Tep said that the bandh was called to display grief, anger and sentiments to the rest of the world that the Naga People are free and have every right to defend what it has.

Saying that the government should feel the pulse and sentiments of the people, the student leader appealed for the cancellation of the Hornbill Festival: The festival of festivals.

If the government is adamant about not cancelling the festival, he appealed to the general public to refrain from participating.

While the Federation is aware of the monetary packages in the form of ex-gratia to be given to the kin of the deceased, he said that the government should know that the blood of the Nagas cannot be bought.

In this regard, he said that justice has to be delivered at all costs.

He said that the Federation feels the need to repeal the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which according to him, will be the best way to honour the sacrifices of the deceased.

While he appreciated the state government for constituting an SIT comprising some top cops and seasoned politicians, he questioned if the SIT probe can bring in the desired justice.

He, therefore, appealed to the government to set up a court-monitored committee headed by a retired supreme court or High court judge to ensure a fair and impartial probe.

To prove the government's sincerity in seeking the removal of AFSPA, the federation demanded a special session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) to discuss the matter and recommend its revocation to the central government.


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