Konyak Union Holds Bandh Over Nagaland Civilian Deaths
The apex tribal body in Nagaland’s Mon imposed a day-long bandh to protest the killing of 14 civilians by the army.
Konyak Union (KU), the apex tribal body in Nagaland’s Mon, imposed a day-long bandh in the district on Tuesday to protest the killing of 14 civilians by security forces, and announced seven-day mourning from the next day.
The KU urged security forces to abstain from patrolling in the Konyak region during the seven-day mourning period, and warned that if the law enforcers do not abide by it, they will be responsible for “any untoward incident that might occur”.
The union, in a letter sent on Monday, requested President Ramnath Kovind to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) also comprising two members of Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) in it and identify the Army personnel involved in the incident, and put in the public domain within 30 days the action taken against them.
It demanded that 27 Assam Rifles immediately vacate Mon for failing to protect civilians, and Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act be removed from the entire Northeast.
“We have imposed a day-long bandh in Mon district on Tuesday. It is going on peacefully. We have also announced seven-day mourning from Wednesday,” Konyak Union president Howing Konyak told PTI.
The last rites of the 14 civilians killed in firing by security forces on December 4 and 5 were held in the Mon district headquarters on Monday. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, his cabinet colleagues and representatives of several tribal organisations attended the event.
When asked about Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in Parliament, Konyak said, “At the moment, we are not in a condition to accept or reject his statement. We are saddened by the brutal killing of our people. What actually happened will only be known after the two survivors who are being treated in Assam regain consciousness.”
The union said that the incident seemed to be a result of “complete failure of military intelligence” and “cannot be termed as a case of mistaken identity at all”.
“The slain people were villagers with no connection to any element that may cause the slightest concern to security forces or national security in any respect,” the KU stated.
“This is an act of atrocity beyond reasoning. No explanation can justify this heinous act of deliberate crime against humanity,” it added.
The union said that the perpetrators up to the highest rank be booked and tried at a civil court.
(This story was first published on EastMojo and has been republished here with permission.)
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