Hundreds of students and ordinary members of society held a sit-in demonstration and candlelight vigil to condemn the deaths of civilians in the Oting massacre and subsequent violence in Nagaland.
The event in the city was organised by the North East Students Organisation (NESO).
The protest saw the participation of several student organizations from across the North East demanding to repeal the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the North East.
Vice President of the Student Bar Association Anshuman Pandey said that it is high time that AFSPA should be repealed.
“This law cannot exist anymore and it will end only if you all unite,” he told the gathering. “The narrow domestic walls that are dividing you should end and you should make sure that you send good parliamentarians based on merit for the 24 seats of the North East who can bring a major change.”
Stating that today it’s the Nagas but no one knows who will be next, the Karbi Student Association Shillong condemned the military for not differentiating between terrorists and civilians and called AFSPA a flaw, not a law.
President of the Khasi Students Union, Lambokstar Marngar, expressed shock that none of the MPs had spoken about this brutal massacre.
Leaders of the Naga Student Union Shillong demand justice and to revoke AFSPA while pledging to fight for the cause until justice is served.
NESO leader Samuel Jyrwa said that this incident brought bitter memories to the fore where security forces had committed suppression and oppression in various parts of the North East.
He called upon the respective state governments in the region to pursue and push the central government to repeal AFSPA.
In Tura, NESO held a sit-in demonstration in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner.
“We have demonstrated today in front of the DC’s office today to show solidarity with the victims of the Army firing in Mon district of Nagaland. We also condemn the security forces for their responsibility in killing innocent civilians,” said vice-president of NESO, Manseng Sangma.
“The government of India should not treat the people of North East as second class citizens as this will further alienate us from the mainland,” added Manseng.
The demonstration also condemned the brutal murder of a 17-year-old girl near Dalu a few days ago.