Konyak Union Dimapur (KUD) marked culmination of the seven-day mourning period under the aegis of Konyak Union to show solidarity with the victims of Oting incident with a programme at Konyak community centre here.
Delivering the introductory speech, KUD president A Mosa said it was the right time for Nagas to unite and fight against the perpetrators till justice was served. He acknowledged the solidarity and respect shown by all Nagas during this time of grief, stating that the Konyaks would never forget the solidarity shown towards them.
Speaking on the occasion, Dimapur Eastern Nagaland Students’ Union (DENSU) president Bendangnuken said even though the mourning period concluded, the fight for justice would go on till it was served, adding that the real fight for justice has started. Mentioning that Nagas were silent not because it was afraid, but observing a mourning period, he said the fight for justice would only grow stronger.
He maintained that unless the AFSPA was withdrawn, justice would not be done, and demanded that the Central government must withdraw the Act and book all criminals and punish them as per the law.
Stating the future of Nagas were defined by “apprehension” and “anticipation”, he said he hoped to see young Nagas anticipate good things, and not live in fear or apprehensions.
He urged all Nagas to do away with tribalism and remain united. “Unity is not a new word for Nagas. All we need is to polish the word unity,” he stressed and appealed the gathering to inculcate the good behaviours of “our” forefathers.
In his speech, Eastern Nagaland People’s Union Dimapur (ENPUD) social & cultural secretary Yanlumong appreciated all Nagas for standing with them, “not only through words but through action”, and acknowledged the State government for cancelling the Hornbill Festival and holding a cabinet meeting to repeal AFSPA.
He asserted that the Union would fight till the draconian AFSPA was withdrawn and appealed to all tribal hohos and civil society organisations (CSOs) to stand with ENPUD till justice was served.
Speaking on the occasion, Eastern Nagaland Women’s Organisation Dimapur (ENWOD) president Langmai stressed that this was the right time for Nagas to unite and urged all to remain united and prepared for any untoward incident that could confront them in the future.
Regarding AFSPA, she maintained that Nagas were living in constant fear and anger due to the draconian law, asserting that it gave the armed forces the privilege to kill anyone on mere suspicion.
In his brief speech, convener of Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR), Rev. Dr. Wati Aier said that the seven days of mourning may be over but it was just the beginning of the fight for justice.
He said that the world was now watching us and called upon the people to stand united.
FNR member, Dr Akum Longchari expressed deep pain over the incident, adding that the incident showed total disregard to people’s right to live and personnel liberty. He said the incident was a reminder that people’s lives were not secure.
He stressed that Oting villagers must share their stories with the world. He asked the gathering, “Can Oting be the light in the hills for the people? Can Konyaks be the light in the hill for the people? Can Nagas be the light in the hill for the whole world?”
Meanwhile, the programme was chaired by KUD general secretary M Jeange Yenlem and invocation was offered by KBBD deacon T Henmoi.
A special number was presented by Chingyong, while Purana Bazar Konyak Fellowship pastor Temlei offered benediction.