Views & Reviews
An Insult to the Nagas and a Diabolical Distortion of Our History
There was a news item in the local papers of 30thJanuary 2020, that the Indian paramilitary force the Assam Rifles were to inaugurate a war memorial in Mokokchung town, honouring those AR and Indian army personnel killed during insurgency (against Naga freedom fighters) as “martyrs”. Hearing that this “memorial” shall be inaugurated on the 3rd February, we agonize with regret. Why, because these evidences can never be erased from the world’s history and it shall particularly be forever etched in our Ao Naga history. Surprisingly, it has learnt from a reliable source that the Memorial is being inaugurated today (1-2-2020) instead of earlier scheduled for which the reason best known to the Assam Rifles.
1. While struggling for our Naga freedom, starting from 1954 now for more than 60 years, there are innumerable cases of our Aos and Naga villages being burnt to ashes, innocent citizens tortured, raped our womenfolk and our church and school buildings desecrated. Over and above these, countless precious lives were killed, our wealth and resources destroyed, but yet, the Indian Army has never admitted to any of their wrong doing.
2. The Aos and particularly the citizens of Mokokchung town did not commit any crime against anyone, but yet the Indian Army on 27th December 1994, burnt down the heart of Mokokchung town – 89 shops, 48 houses were burnt down. 17 vehicles and 7 two wheelers razed to ashes, excluding those destroyed by gunfire and shelling. 7 civilians were gunned down, another 5 burned alive including a child and dozens of women were raped at gunpoint. Till now the people of Mokokchung town remembers this day of infamy with bitterness in our hearts.
3. Today, the Indian Government has accepted that the Naga struggle for freedom is a political issue and the talks are still ongoing.
During such a time, the Indian Army’s attempt to cover up their years of atrocities in the form of a “Martyr Memorial” in Mokokchung town is an insult to the Ao Nagas. In fact, the Naga National workers irrespective of groups should not allow to build such war memorial in our land as the construction of our enemy’s war cemetery in our own soil is unethical and therefore it is unacceptable. They say “friends of the hill people” however they are shameless aggressors under the shadow of AFSPA. We strongly feel that the Ao community in particular and the Naga people in general must ponder seriously and take befitting steps.
On behalf of Ao Concerned Citizen Forum
Moa Emchen, Co-Convenor;
O Wati Jamir, Secretary