Nagaland: Govt To Move Centre on AFSPA Repeal
The Nagaland cabinet which met in an emergency sitting under the leadership of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Tuesday called off the ongoing Hornbill Festival in protest against the killing, besides deciding to write to the central government on the repeal of the act, state ministers said.
During the meeting, the cabinet was briefed about the action taken after firing, including setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by an IGP rank officer and grant of ex-gratia to the next of kin of the deceased by the state and central governments, ministers Neiba Kronu and Temjen Imna Along told reporters.
Rio on the sidelines of a function here on Tuesday told newspersons “it will be better to remove AFSPA from the (entire) country because India is the biggest democratic country in the world excesses committed by security forces (using) this Act does not go well with the people.”
Appealing to people in his state to remain calm and maintain peace, he described the killings as “inhuman” and an “act of cowardice”.
An initial report submitted to the state government on Sunday claimed the army made no attempt to ascertain the identity of the civilians returning from work on a pick-up truck before shooting them in Nagaland’s Mon district on Saturday.
The joint report by the state’s Director General of Police (DGP) T John Longkumer and Commissioner Rovilatuo Mor quoted eyewitnesses, who said the Army’s special forces tried to “hide” the bodies of six people by wrapping and loading them on a pick-up van with the intention of taking them to their base camp.
Kronu said that altogether 14 civilians have died, while two seriously injured are undergoing treatment in neighbouring Assam, and six are being treated in Dimapur.