Kohima: Naga Hoho, the apex tribal body in Nagaland, on Wednesday urged the central government to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 (AFSPA) from the North East region "at the earliest".
Naga Hoho Media Cell expressed anguish over, what it termed as, the "callous" attitude of the Centre towards repeal of the AFSPA from the North East in general and Naga areas in particular despite repeated appeals by Naga civil societies and human rights activists.
"In return, the successive governments irrespective of political parties in Delhi always decide to remain a mute spectator ever since the enactment of the draconian laws," a release issued by Naga Hoho Media Cell said in Kohima.
Pointing out that "there is a peaceful atmosphere in Naga areas as of now", the apex body said, any policy that harms the atmosphere of trust and confidence "would be dear to all stakeholders".
It said both the Union government and the Naga people have agreed to a settlement for respecting the wishes of the people for sharing sovereign power and to establish a lasting relationship between the government and the Nagas.
"We make this statement in the background that, there is an ongoing political negotiation and peace process between the government of India and the Naga people which can be testified by the signing of Framework Agreement signed on 3 August, 2015," the statement said.
The Hoho maintained that the Naga people were taken by surprise with the RSS reportedly declaring its support for extension and continuation of AFSPA in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir.
The Naga's struggle for self determination cannot be equated with "terrorism" with the Union government recognising the uniqueness of Naga political history and the universal principle that sovereignty lies with the people in a democracy, the Hoho said.