Geneva, September 18 : The United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as other United Nations’ mechanisms on Human Rights, have been requested to monitor ceasefire agreements or any other treaties or agreements made by States with Indigenous peoples vis-à-vis the Indo-Naga ceasefires.
This intervention was made at the 27th session of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva on September 17 by Neingulo Krome, Executive Member, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact and Secretary General, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR).
“During the last 7 decades, we have experienced unimaginable human rights violations, juxtaposed with ceasefires and political negotiations, agreements and accords in between to resolve this ‘conflicting idea’ without much success,” stated Krome. Presently, the Government of India is in Ceasefire truces with 3 (three) different Naga political groups which were signed at various stages over the last 17 years (1997, 2001 and 2011) after the first ceasefire was signed in 1964.
However, informed the Secretary General of the NPMHR to the Human Rights Council, “just over a month ago, after 17 long years of ceasefire, the question of ceasefire area coverage became an issue and an Act under Section 144 CrPC was promulgated in Ukhrul town prohibiting an assembly of 5 persons or more, with the town reeling under Manipur Police Commandoes/Indian Reserved Battalion and Assam Rifles personnel who are well known for their military excesses staging flag marches till today even after an announcement was made that the 144 CrPC have been withdrawn. On 30th of August 2014, as the Civilian population were conducting rallies in the 4 Hills district headquarters of Manipur, demanding the withdrawal of this prohibitory orders, the Manipur Police Commandoes fired and killed two civilians and injured many others with at least six of them in critical conditions.”
Krome brought to the attention of the President of the UN Human Rights Council a “very strong sign of racial discrimination and provocation” wherein restrictions are “particularly directed” against a particular community that inhabits Ukhrul District of Manipur.
“While 4 million Nagas are living in different Naga areas in northeast India and western Burma (States of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and western part of Burma), and the conflicting areas of ceasefire coverage effects all other Naga areas outside the present state of Nagaland, the Government of Manipur choose to impose this restrictions only in Ukhrul Town, which is the hometown of the Tangkhul Nagas,” he noted in his brief intervention during the 27th session of the Council in Geneva.
Yet, alongside the “many progresses supposedly made in the political talks over the last 17 years,” noted Krome, the Naga people along with the rest of the peoples of North East India “continue to reel under the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958, by declaring our areas as Disturbed Areas even though there are ceasefires and our places are relatively very peaceful even comparing to India’s Capital New Delhi and other big metropolitan cities all over India.”
Meanwhile, the NPMHR Secretary General emphasized on the importance of protection of indigenous peoples rights to disaster risk reduction, and that there should be “maximum participation” of Indigenous peoples in this regard.