Nagaland Civilian killings

Guwahati: The Konyak Union (KU) has slammed the Centre for not sanctioning the prosecution of the Army personnel guilty of killing 13 civilians at Oting in Nagaland’s Mon district.

“The state government constituted the SIT. It conducted a probe and filed the chargesheet but the central government has not granted sanction to prosecute the culprits or book them,” Konyak Union vice president HA Hongnao Konyak told New Indian Express.

Last year on December 4, the Indian Army commandos gunned down six coal miners near Oting village after “mistaking” them for the members of an insurgent group. 

Six others from the same village and another person from Upper Tiru village were killed on the spot when the villagers retaliated following the incident.

The special investigation team (SIT) constituted by the Nagaland government had named 30 security forces personnel in its chargesheet on the killing of 13 civilians in the botched military operation.

The SIT findings said that the security forces did not follow standard operation procedures and rules of engagement while resorting to indiscriminate and disproportionate firing leading to the killing of civilians in a counter-insurgency ambush that went horrifically wrong.

On the first anniversary of Oting killings, the family members of the victims lamented that justice was not delivered to the families of the victims even after the SIT filed the chargesheet naming 30 Army personnel, including a Major. 

“Since they were not punished, the families have not got justice. The Army also conducted an internal probe. We don’t know what happened to it,” Hongnao Konyak said.

As justice has been denied to the families, every household across the six districts of eastern Nagaland – Mon, Kiphire, Longleng, Noklak, Shamator and Tuensang – will hold a black flag protest on Sunday and Monday.

“We have received an instruction from the ENPO (Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation, the apex tribal body of the region) for the black flag protest,” the KU leader said.

A prayer meeting will also be held at the KU office in Mon on Sunday for those killed. Church and civil society leaders will attend it.

The union will also build a Martyr’s Park from donations in Mon town in memory of the victims. The State government has provided land for the memorial.

The chain of events following the killing of the civilians in Mon district had revived a public outcry for the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which grants security forces impunity to carry out anti-insurgent operations in the region in the Northeast region.

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