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Nagaland CM assures justice for Mon incident

Neiphiu Rio, Chief Minister of Nagaland, places a wreath on a coffin during a mass funeral of civilians who were mistakenly killed by security forces, in Mon district of Nagaland on December 6, 2021. File
The Hindu BureauJanuary 26, 2022 18:07 IST
Updated: January 26, 2022 18:07 IST

The Konyak Naga community abstains from Republic Day celebrations in Mon district

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said justice will be delivered to the families of the people who were gunned down by the security forces in the Mon district in December 2021.

An elite unit of the Army had

killed 13 people of Oting and Tiru villages on December 4 in a botched operation and resultant violence. A soldier was also hacked to death while another civilian was killed after a mob attacked an Assam Rifles camp in the district headquarters Mon on December 5.

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“My fellow citizens, as we celebrate the Republic Day, we also take note of the unfortunate firing incidents that occurred in December last year in Oting-Tiru village area and Mon town, which led to the unfortunate death of 14 innocent civilians, and serious injuries to many others. We are taking every measure to lessen the pain of the family members, who lost their near and dear ones, as well as of all those who suffered injuries,” Mr Rio said.

He said the Special Investigation Team constituted by the State government to probe the incident has made good progress. The Army, too, constituted a court of inquiry said to be completing its investigation at a fast pace, he said.

“We are sure that justice will be delivered for the families,” the Chief Minister said.

He recalled how the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 was implemented in Nagaland due to extremism in the 1950s. He said he was hopeful about the Act being lifted in view of the ceasefire with the Naga political (extremist) groups since 1997.

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The demand for repealing the Act gained momentum in the State after the incident in Mon, where the dominant Konyak Naga community abstained from celebrating Republic Day following a boycott call by the Konyak Union, the apex body of the community.

“Isn’t Republic Day celebrated to mark the historic day when India was transformed into a democratic and republic nation? Why is the government of India shying away when the Indian Army massacred its own citizen and still the culprits are scout free? Aren’t we the citizen of India too?” the union said in a statement.