The People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) has demanded that the government sanction the prosecution of the 30 army personnel allegedly responsible for the killing of 14 civilians in Nagaland's Oting in December 2021.
In a statement, the PUDR also also asked for the SIT findings to be made public, and said, “Since April, the SIT has been awaiting sanction from the Department of Military Affairs to proceed with prosecution. More importantly, the Nagaland Chief Minister said in early March, that the SIT findings would be made public only after the Centre would give permission to prosecute".
The commanding officer was aware for 50 minutes that he had suppressed the information about the team's ambush being laid on the wrong track, The Wire, quoting the SIT report, reported on 7 July.
Additionally, the post-mortem report revealed that the killings were "deliberate in design."
Adding that the the army too had conducted an independent probe, PUDR further explained that the Nagaland chief minister had said that the findings would be made public only after the Centre gave permission for prosecution.
It further pointed out that although the government had announced on March 31 that "it would reduce the disturbed areas under the AFSPA," it had said nothing about prosecuting the responsible army personnel.
Highlighting that sanction from the Centre is mandatory for initiating legal suit against army personnel, the statement added that the 2015 Rajya Sabha all-India figures showed that out of 38 requests made before the Centre from 1991 till 2015, 30 were turned down and 8 remained pending.
"Such routine denials along with the refusal to share the findings of inquiries thwart the possibility of prosecuting the guilty and allows the army to sit judge and jury over its own actions," the statement said.