Nagaland: Protests against civilian killings spread across state

Protests against the killing of 14 civilians in Nagaland’s Mon district, in a case of alleged mistaken identity by the army, have spread across the state. The eastern part of Nagaland has been witnessing massive rallies seeking justice for those killed in the botched operation by the army.

A day’s bandh has been called in the district where the incident occurred. Public and private organisations and businesses remained closed and roads were blocked as the members of the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO), the top tribal body, staged demonstrations in Tuensang, Longleng, Kiphire and Noklak districts. The Konyak Union, representing Konyak Naga tribe, to which the civilians killed in the botched Army operation belonged, held protest rallies in the district.

The organisations protesting have declared non-co-operation with the forces until their demands are met and justice is delivered to those killed by the army.

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Repercussions of AFSPA in Nagaland

At least 13 civilians were killed by the armed forces in Nagaland’s Mon district in a case of mistaken identity sparking demands of the repeal of the decade-old Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

The AFSPA, 1958, is an act of the Parliament of India which gives the armed forces of India the liberty to kill civilians without any repercussions or legal action. The AFSPA is in force in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur, and parts of Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam.

On June 30, 2021 the Center increased the operation of the armed forces for a period of 6 months in Nagaland, declaring it to be a “disturbed area”.

The Chief Minister of the state Neiphiu Rio expressed his grief over the killings of the civilians by the militia and urged the center to remove AFSPA in Nagaland.

“The unfortunate incident leading to the killing of civilians at Oting, Mon is highly condemnable. Condolences to the bereaved families & speedy recovery of those injured. High-level SIT will investigate & justice delivered as per the law of the land. Appeal for peace from all sections,” Rio had tweeted.

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