A day after 13 villagers were gunned down by armed forces in Nagaland's Mon district in a case of 'mistaken identity,' the Konyak Union, an apex body of the Konyak Naga tribe from the Mon district, sent a five-point memorandum of demands to the government on Monday, 6 December, asking for action against responsible defence personnel and demanding the withdrawal of the special powers given to the security forces in the state.
The memorandum came hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed the Parliament on Monday, expressing regret over the death of 13 villagers at the hands of security forces.
Shah had said, "The Government of India sincerely regrets this unfortunate incident in Nagaland and expresses its deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives."
The Konyak Union has made the following demands:
Set up an independent inquiry committee under a competent investigating agency, which should include two members from the Naga civil society in the investigation.
All army personnel involved must be booked and punished under the applicable civil court.
Action taken against the army personnel should be put out in the public domain within 30 days.
Immediate withdrawal of Assam Rifles from the Mon district.
Repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from the entire Northeast of India.
Meanwhile, both Nagaland Chief Minister (CM) Neiphiu Rio and Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma demanded the repeal of AFSPA.
Under the law, military is empowered to search, arrest, and fire if deemed necessary for maintaining public order in "disturbed areas" across the country, and to carry out these excesses with a degree of immunity from prosecution.
Alleging breach of human rights and excesses under the 'draconian' law, human rights groups as well as other civil society members have been demanding the scrapping of the law.
The state of Nagaland has been under the AFSPA for almost six decades. In 2015, an agreement between general secretary of Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah), Thuingaleng Muivah, and government interlocutor RN Ravi was signed for withdrawing of the act.
Amit Shah had further told the Lok Sabha on Monday, "The situation is tense but under control. All agencies have to ensure such incidents do not happen in the future."