After 13 villagers were gunned down by armed forces in Nagaland’s Mon district due to ‘mistaken identity, the Konyak Union, an apex body of the Konyak Naga tribe in Mon on Monday, has sent a five-point memorandum of demands to the Centre, asking for action against responsible army personnel and withdrawal of the special powers given to security forces in the state.
The memorandum came hours after Home Minister Amit Shah addressed the Parliament on Monday and expressed regret over the death of 13 civilians at the hands of security forces.
“The Government of India sincerely regrets this unfortunate incident in Nagaland and expresses its deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives,” he said.
Shah further told the Lok Sabha, “The situation is tense but under control. All agencies have to ensure such incidents do not happen in the future.”
In the memorandum, the Konyak Union has made the five demands:
- Set up an independent inquiry committee under a competent investigating agency, which should include two members of Naga civil society in the probe.
- All defense personnel involved in the killings must be booked and punished under the applicable civil court.
- Within 30 days, action taken against the personnel should be put out in the public domain.
- Immediate withdrawal of Assam Rifles from the Nagaland’s Mon district.
- Abrogation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from the whole Northeast in India.
Both Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma have demanded the abrogation of AFSPA.
Under this law, military personnel are empowered to search, arrest, and fire if it’s necessary to maintain public order in “disturbed areas” across the country, and to conduct these excesses with a degree of immunity from prosecution.
Demanding the scrapping of the law, human rights groups as well as other civil society members have alleged breach of human rights and excesses under the ‘draconian’ law.
Nagaland has been under the AFSPA for nearly six decades. An agreement between the general secretary of Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah), Thuingaleng Muivah, and government interlocutor RN Ravi was signed for withdrawal of the actin 2015.