Political parties condemn Nagaland’s Oting firing incident

Political parties in Nagaland, including Naga People’s Front (NPF) and the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC), have strongly condemned the unprovoked incident at Oting village under Mon district of Nagaland in which 13 civilians died and over 20 civilians were injured by 27 Assam Rifles.

In a release issued by Press Bureau of NPF from its central headquarters in Kohima, the party expressed serious concern and vehemently condemned the firing incident at Oting village of Mon district on December 4 that killed 13 people and injured many others.

It said no words can describe such an action against harmless civilians. While the central government and Naga political groups have a ceasefire agreement and are engaged in bringing the Naga political issue to a logical conclusion through a peaceful means, such an act carried out by the armed forces is a provocation to the peace-loving Naga people.

The party strongly demanded immediate investigation at the highest level and appropriate action against the perpetrators as per the law of the land. “The state cabinet should immediately take stock of the situation and institute a high-level inquiry commission headed by a retired judge of the high court, giving one-month time to submit its findings with action to be taken against the erring individuals,” said the party.

In the meantime, the cabinet should declare compensatory measures for the aggrieved parties. The NPF also strongly appealed to the Union government to immediately remove the draconian Armed Forces (Special Power) Act (AFSPA), which gives sweeping powers to the security forces. “It’s high time the government paid heed to the demands for withdrawal of AFSPA from Nagaland,” said the statement.

In a separate release, NPCC president K Therie said that the unprovoked incident at Oting village of Mon district is strongly condemned.

Therie said several injured are in serious condition at Mon Civil Hospital. It occurred when six miners were returning home in a pick-up truck from Tiru Valley Coal mines on December 4. It was about 4 pm when 27 Assam Rifles opened fire upon the vehicle. Total number dead is now reported to be 13. Some are still missing. It said 25 years of negotiation, deliberate delay in implementation of solution after talks have concluded and the massacre at Oting in the Mon district only goes to tell the people of Nagaland that the Government of India does not consider the people of Nagaland as part of its citizens.

The NPCC said that it is saddened by the loss of those killed in the incident. “We share the pain and sorrow with the family members, village and Konyak community. May the Lord almighty God console you all in this painful parting,” the release stated.

NPCC demanded Rs 1 crore each to the deceased and Rs 10 lakh each to the injured as compensation.

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