Post Mortem

Human Rights violation by the police and security forces in NE: brutality repeating itself in spells in Nagaland

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/6/2021 1:35:32 PM IST

 Human rights cannot be longer considered as a distant, mysterious and secret specialty, but is to be regarded as a living subject. One that must be often engaged with and taken to heart, not just by academics, lawyers and activists, but by all human beings who believe in the basic rights that accrue to us by the very being, that is, the virtue of human beings. Human rights must be developed within acknowledging and understanding of particular peoples’ culture, community, ethos, customs and traditions. Human rights are generally accepted as moral rights for every individual which enables a person to lead a respectable and enriching life. Human right has legal connotations and are considered as vital for every human being to lead a full circle of life in a society. Human rights are to be enjoyed by all person for the fullest development of his/her personality just by virtue by being a human, irrespective of cast, class, high, low, gender, nationality etc. There are different perceptions about the development of human rights. One may say that human rights are the rights which cannot be divided, cannot be taken by anyone or human rights are universal which knows no borders and are fundamental. But to some human rights are not considered absolute. Whereas, again to some human rights can be achieved forcibly at the expense of others. However, human rights are restrained to some extent so as to safeguard and respect the rights of others to usher in harmonious atmosphere in the society. Yet, Nagaland like any other North Eastern states has faced serious violations of human rights since decades and decades together. Therefore, the concept of human rights, should not however, be frozen in time rather be a dynamic principle and thus, capable of adopting a myriad complex and changing global society. Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958, which has been extended till December, 2021, in Nagaland is a long pending demand of political parties. Human rights are still a raging debated issue. AFSPA which gives special power to army has committed unforgettable atrocities to the Naga people since, independence and is a burdening nightmare till now. Another Black Day of the Naga People, December 4, 2021, the Oting village incident of Mon who can forget ! Oh my Oting brethrens my heart bleeds and mourns for you! What were your last thoughts when the bullets silenced you forever on that cold evening at the hands of the merciless by security forces? 

The Supreme Court appointed Hedge Commission demanding repeal of AFSPA but still shows the picture of the failure of both the democracy and the government. In Jammu and Kashmir AFSPA which was imposed in the 1980s can file First Information Report (FIR), but in North East which has been in existence since 1950s cannot do so. The question here is why one country and two laws. Why this discrimination and differential treatment when it comes to the North East people because even Article 15 of the constitution guarantees Prohibition of Discrimination on ground of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. This behaviour in itself is a gross violation of India’s constitution. The write up is an attempt for initiating of peoples to peoples dialogue. Also, to discuss the gross violations of human rights particularly of the Naga people and more importantly how these rights are violated. The required right to be exercised by the person for his/her development should not be restricted, since denial for progressive growth will lead to the violation of human rights.

AFSPA (1958) and Violations of Human Rights

Despite the existence of constitutional safeguards, declarations, covenants, conventions, statutory bodies etc. there are many reported and unreported gross violations of human rights. Masses have been complaining of human rights violations committed particularly by the central and the state government agencies such as police, army, and the para-military forces. Besides these people have been complaining of the atrocities committed by the non-state actors which are prevalent in the North Eastern states. Denial for the rights of the indigenous people and the right to self determination movement are rampant. Taking us to backt the workshop, North East Indigenous Tribal Peoples Forum (NEITPF), held in Itanagar on April, 1-2, 1995. The workshop pointed out that; 

i. “The indigenous peoples of the region who have their own distinctive identity, culture, ethos, own way of life and self governing system are today suffering from political, economic and social discrimination and being systematically marginalised and pushed to non-dominant entity in the present political system of India which is alien to them.”

ii. “The unabated influx of foreigners and also internal migration from other parts of the country and settlement of refugees, etc. in the traditional homelands of the indigenous people are increasingly threatening their political, economic, social, and cultural identity in their own homelands.”

iii. “A situation is arising where the so-called mainstream ruling elite are treating the homelands of indigenous peoples as their internal colonies and adopting colonial behaviour towards genuine movements of indigenous/tribal people.”

iv. “The economic resources of the indigenous peoples are being indiscriminately plundered and destroyed in the name of so called development by logging, mining, etc.”

v. “The independence of indigenous peoples on land, forest and water bodies, their settlement and rights has been completely ignored. The Government of India always acts arbitrarily on all these issues.” 

(To be concluded)

Dr. Toli Achumi, Assistant Professor, Yingli College, Longleng, Nagaland

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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