A delegation of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs have on Tuesday sought an appointment with Union Home Minister Amit Shah for tomorrow (Wednesday, Decemeber 8) to hand over a memorandum seeking compensation for families of those who died in firing incident in Nagaland. The TMC MPs will also ask the Centre to present its stance on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Earlier on Monday, the TMC said the killing of 14 civilians by the Army in Nagaland has put a question mark over AFSPA and Amit Shah should step down as it has proved that he has "completely failed" in his duty to provide security to the people of the country.
The Centre should set up a high-powered committee to see if the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is serving its purpose in the country or not, senior TMC leader Sushmita Dev demanded at a press conference.
She, however, declined to give a direct reply when asked whether TMC was for repeal of AFSPA in the north eastern states.
"AFSPA is a sensitive matter. It is a question of national security versus internal security. We are not saying anything about repealing it or not as we are not privy to secrets of national and internal security. There has to be a proper discussion on AFSPA with all the northeastern states because they do not want it," she said.
Hitting out at the Centre, Dev said Shah has "completely failed" to provide security to the citizens of this country.
Condemning the killing of the daily wage mine workers in Mon district of Nagaland by the security forces on Saturday, she said "We (TMC) fail to understand why has Shah been made the union home minister. He is there only to protect the interests of the BJP.
"He (Shah) is only interested in misusing the central agencies such as the CBI and ED to settle political scores. We feel he should resign as home minister as he has failed," Dev said.
The TMC leader demanded that Shah immediately convene a meeting of chief ministers of the northeastern states and said the problems related to AFSPA should be resolved through dialogue and "not through domination and interference in the jurisdiction of the states".
"It is imperative that the Centre set up a high powered committee to see if AFSPA is working in this country or not. The killing of civilians in Nagaland by security forces has put a question mark over the Act," she said.
Terming the incident as an "unprecedented incident" in the history of independent India, the TMC MP said "Such an incident is a massive failure on the part of the defence ministry and union home ministry. There should be an independent judicial inquiry to bring out the truth."
Referring to Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma's statement that the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958 should be repealed, Dev said it would be easy for the Centre to decide on it as most of the northeastern states have either a BJP government or the party are partners in the ruling alliance.
She alleged that the north eastern region has been on the boil since the day BJP formed governments in the states there. "The BJP has reopened all the old wounds. They are undoing this country".
(With PTI inputs)
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