Nagaland Violence After Indian Army Accidentally Kills Civilians
A protester has died in the Mon district of Nagaland state after Indian security forces opened fire on people protesting the killing of 13 civilians in the northeastern state a day earlier.
Fresh violence broke out on Sunday after a large crowd of people marched to a security forces camp in Mon town and began damaging and burning buildings, a state government official said.
The killings of civilians allegedly by security forces, described by the authorities as a “vulgar” operation, have sparked widespread outrage in Nagaland, which has seen decades of armed rebellion against Indian rule. The region has been relatively quiet in recent years, as armed groups began talks with the Indian government.
“People are very angry,” said Honang Konyak, the vice president of the Konyak Sangha, the apex body of the Konyak tribe, which dominates the Mon district on the Indo-Myanmar border.
“Security forces, who were supposed to be protectors, have killed innocents,” he said.
Security forces opened fire on a truck carrying coal mine workers, killing at least six people who were mistaken for “terrorists”. Seven more civilians were killed on Saturday evening when local residents clashed with security forces.
The Nagaland government sent in top police and government officials and imposed prohibitory orders in the city of Mon. Earlier, it had banned mobile internet and SMS services in the entire district citing “apprehension of serious law and order problems”.
The ban was lifted on Sunday evening, but in Nagaland, Additional Director General of Police Sandeep M Tamgadge confirmed that the situation remained tense.
A special investigation team of five police officers has been formed under Tamgadge’s supervision. “The task of investigating the matter has been entrusted within a month.
The Spear Corps of the Indian Army said it regretted the incident and its aftermath.
“The cause of the unfortunate deaths is being investigated at the highest level and appropriate action will be taken as per law,” the statement said.
The Spear Corps statement said at least one soldier died in the incident. Indian officials said 11 other civilians were injured in the incident.
“Four of the injured personnel were taken to Dimapur (Nagaland’s capital). Five of them are at the civil hospital in Som, while two are undergoing treatment in Dibrugarh (in neighboring Assam),” said Nagaland home secretary Abhijit Sinha.
At @AJEnglish today,our clear sharing were:(1)We grieve with people of #Mon #Nagaland at this time(2)This is NOT first time such a massacre happened in NE & this must END 🛑✋🏽once & for all (3) Condolences are not enough,strongly call upon Govt of India to #RepealAFSPA pic.twitter.com/gYMhNj953r
— Binalakshmi Nepram (@BinaNepram) December 5, 2021
‘They opened fire on us’
Khetwang Konyak, a resident of Oting, said people heard gunshots. “A few hours later, when the boys did not return home, we went looking for them,” he told Al Jazeera.
Not far from the village, residents claim they found the bodies in a pickup truck belonging to the security forces. Khetwang Konyak alleged, “Army personnel were about to take them away.”
As emotions flared up, a mob of people torched three vehicles. The locals alleged that the security forces personnel again opened fire amid the clashes.
Candle light vigil in #Nagaland this evening pic.twitter.com/j5sZOws41J
— ইন্দ্রজিৎ | INDRAJIT (@iindrojit) December 5, 2021
“I had the party flag on my vehicle, yet they opened fire on us,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) district president Nyawang Konyak said. Nyawang told Al Jazeera that he ran to save his life but three other people in his vehicle were shot.
“My driver and my nephew have been shot in the leg,” he claimed.
“They were happily shooting at us,” Nyawang alleged. Another person in his vehicle died due to injuries. “God saved my life.”
Al Jazeera could not independently verify these claims, which are yet to be confirmed by Indian authorities.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by News East India staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Also Read:- Unrest in Nagaland: Mob vandalizes Assam Rifles camp after 13 civilians killed in security operation