GNF condemns detention, harassment of Naga student
DIMAPUR — The Global Naga Forum has condemned the alleged arbitrary detention of a Naga theology student by the Assam Rifles at Wakka, in Longding district of Arunachal Pradesh, and called for an immediate and transparent investigation into the incident.
In a press release on Wednesday, the GNF described the incident as part of a pattern of harassment and persecution of Naga civilians by the Assam Rifles, backed by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958.
“Like the ones before, this is an egregious act for multiple reasons: it violates the fundamental principles of civilised society and basic human rights; it undermines public trust in the armed forces; and it creates an environment of intimidation, fear, and insecurity that has a direct destabilising effect on Naga communities,” stated the press release.
According to the GNF, the incident took place when the student was returning home for Christmas on Dec. 15 when the Assam Rifles arbitrarily detained him at Wakka town. It claimed that the victim was subjected to relentless and unnecessary interrogation until midday on Dec. 16, despite possessing a valid student ID and raising no suspicions.
It said that the student was travelling in a hired pickup as he was transporting a rice mill that was reportedly procured by the women’s society in his village.
Stating that the student was then sent back to Dimapur by the Assam Rifles instead of his village, the GNF called for an immediate and transparent investigation into the incident to bring those responsible to justice. It also urged the authorities to prioritise a safe return of the student, along with the rice mill.
“For justice and the rule of law to prevail in a democratic society, there must be accountability even for the Indian armed forces who wantonly violate the basic human rights of Naga people,” it asserted, while questioning how long the Indian government will permit military abuses against the Nagas.