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NMA seeks CM’s intervention on AFSPA extension

By EMN Updated: Jul 23, 2020 7:00 pm

Dimapur, July 23 (EMN): The Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) has sought the intervention of the chief minister on matters relating to extension of Disturbed Area Act (DAA), ban on sale of dog meat, order on government servants to declare relationships with any Naga political group (NPG) cadres and rampant corruption within the governance system.

In a representation to the chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, NMA has strongly protested the extension of the DAA and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state amid the ongoing peace process.

Stating that it had witnessed decades of violent militarisation, killings and violation of human rights, the NMA representation, jointly appended by its president Abeiu Meru and secretary Lochumbeni Humtsoe, urged the government to protect their rights to peace and security without such draconian laws. It also sought repealing of AFSPA for a fruitful, peaceful conclusion of the Naga political issue in an atmosphere of respect and mutual understanding.

Pointing out that the government’s notification to ban sale of dog meat has raised varied controversies, NMA maintained that dog meat is a traditional delicacy among many tribes in the state — used for medicinal purposes, sportsmen of traditional wrestling for strength, pregnancy and childbirth and lactating mothers as nutrition. It added that most sellers of dog meat are poor women.

It felt that the government had not made any strong efforts to sensitise the public with campaigns on taking care of pet dogs, avoiding cruelty to animals or risks of rabies but instead resorted to the blanket ban.

“We protest against the state invading our kitchens and our food habits. While we do not endorse cruelly to animals, banning certain food that is an inherent part or culture of certain tribes is objectionable,” NMA stated.
It urged to revoke the ban on dog meat sale and to start a campaign on sensitising public against cruelty to animals besides setting up proper mechanisms for checking of rabies by the veterinary department on sale of such meat.

The NMA has also raised its concern on the state government’s latest order directing the government servants to declare relationships with any NPG cadres.

“The said order is bereft of historical understanding, that the Naga struggle began with a male volunteer from every Naga family to join the movement. Till today, this exist in many Naga villages and families, whether with or without the active consent of family members,” the representation read.

It went on to add that families of pro-government have been ostracised for generations because of the effect of killings and sufferings of thousands who volunteered. NMA stated that the Naga reality must be understood till a settlement of the Naga political issue is realised.

It, therefore, urged the state government to revoke the order and instil trust and confidence on its public servants.

The NMA has also sought the intervention of the chief minister to address the issues on what it termed as ‘rampant corruption within the governance systems’. It stated that the future looks bleak for the future generation unless there is strict accountability and action.

It reminded that many Public Interest Litigations (PIL) on corruption, lack of healthcare facilities, Anganwadi centres, and maternal deaths have been filed in courts including one filed against the police’s delay in investigation and corruption in the Supreme Court by two of its members. The association has supported any action that seek to bring accountability in governance systems in the state, it stated, adding that the Lokayukta Act needs to be revisited with more power.

Meanwhile, NMA has expressed gratitude to all the frontline workers, including all government officials in different districts during the current pandemic crisis in the state for giving their best to keep the citizens safe. It expected that the state government would continue to render assistance to all the districts in the fight against the pandemic.

It further stated that strategies for employment of not only the returnees but the thousands of unemployed youths must be seriously worked out on a war footing to ensure a secure future and development and progress in the state.

By EMN Updated: Jul 23, 2020 7:00:36 pm