Resist militarization of Naga villages: FACAM

Photo Courtesy: EastMojo

Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), a civil group, strongly condemned the move of Indian State to militarily occupy Naga Villages of Manipur’s Ukhrul district as well as the establishment of the Joint Command Centre in Bhadradri Kothagudem.

The “intrusion” and “occupation” of the villages have been done without the consent of the Naga Village councils and the Tangkhul Indigenous people, to whom the land belongs, FACAM said in a press release on Friday.

“The Indian state has been mocking its own constitution by constantly violating Article 371 (A) of the constitution, through such intrusions, land grab, and the Atrocities of the past and the present and granting them impunity under draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act,” read the statement.

The group also reminded of Mon and Oting, where 14 people were killed by Para SF of the Indian Armed Forces and are still not prosecuted due to the impunity of AFSPA. 

The Naga Civil Society and Global Naga Forum have all reported about the situation through statements and media reports that the Armed Forces are:

  1. Occupying the public spaces such as schools, playgrounds, community centres etc., And are turning them into military camps.
  2. Private properties are taken over and constructions are carried on them to build military camps. 
  3. An overall atmosphere of fear among women, children and old due to such presence of armed forces, having past records of Brutal Atrocities against the very people, and building checkposts across the area is affecting the peace of the people. 

On 15 September 2022, Over 5000 people took to the streets of Ukhrul town to mount pressure on the Central and State governments for immediate withdrawal of the security forces from the villages. 

Similarly, the people of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have protested against Paramilitary camps, with 12 major sit-in protests in Bastar, continuing for months.

Recently, the Indian State has moved with the Idea to establish a Joint Command Center in Bhadradri Kothagudem District on Telangana-Chhattisgarh border in the name of Fighting the Maoists.

The said command centre is to house the District Reserve Guard (DRG) formed by inducting the infamous SPOs of the Salwa Judum, Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) of Chhattisgarh, Greyhounds of Telangana etc.

The Home Ministry has also sent a contingent of 100 National Security Guards comprising more than 50 percent personnel of the Indian Armed Forces on a trial basis to the same District and is believed to function from this very joint command centre.

FACAM says the camps, in these Forested Regions of Central India, are being built as Forward Operational Bases under Indian State’s Military Operation SAMADHAN-PRAHAR to suppress all forms of struggle against “corporate loot of resources”.

“Similarly, the camps are being built in Manipur, Kashmir, Nagaland etc., to suppress the struggle of nationalities for the right to self-determination and to loot their natural resources in the interest of big corporates.” 

“The similarity behind the modus operandi of Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces in occupying land and building Multiple Paramilitary Camps over a given area reflects a similar military psyche behind these activities. We believe that Operation SAMADHAN-PRAHAR is the embodiment of this military psyche and it needs to be resisted countrywide to stop this rampant Militarization,” they said.