‘Tantamount to war crimes, summary execution’, says BJP leader as Indian Army guns down civilians in Nagaland

Dec 7, 2021 | Brutality by Occupying Forces

State president of the BJP Nagaland Temjen Imma Along has said he was deeply anguished by the killing of 13 civilians last evening by the Assam Rifles in Mon district, East Mojo reported.

“There can never be any justification for such kind of massacre targeting innocent civilians. The innocent victims were labourers returning from a hard day’s work and were not armed with any firearms whatsoever. It is, therefore, tantamount to war crimes during peace time and amounts to summary execution as well as genocide,” Along said in a statement.

“The rogue Assam Rifles personnel responsible for this heinous crime have to be brought to justice and made to answer truthfully as to how innocent, unarmed persons were gunned down; why the AR could not discern that the 6 persons in the pickup truck were unarmed, innocent civilians; on what basis the commanding officer gave the firing order etc.,” the statement added.

“This incident is a very big discouragement to the Nagas as a whole, especially at a time when one of our very own Konyak Naga sons from the Tizit area itself was martyred in an ambush in Manipur, not even a month back. Why do you kill our sons when our sons are also the ones making supreme sacrifices for the country?” he asked.

Along appealed to the Government of India and the state government to provide immediate ex-gratia to the next of kin, followed by additional compensatory measures.

“We wish the injured person (s) a speedy recovery. May the departed souls rest in eternal peace. May God be with it during this dark day,” he added.

Armed forces in India’s north-eastern state of Nagaland killed at least 13 civilians in, and after, an ambush near the border with Myanmar, officials say.

As per a BBC report, an army patrol opened fire on mining workers returning home after work in Mon district, killing six people.

Seven more civilians and an Indian soldier died when angry locals confronted troops, BBC reported.

Home Minister of India Amit Shah said he was “anguished” and vowed to investigate.

People in Nagaland accuse Indian forces of wrongly targeting innocent locals in their counterinsurgency operations.

The Assam Rifles of the Indian army, opened fire on a truck carrying 30 coalmine workers near their camp.

“The troopers had intelligence inputs about some militant movement in the area and on seeing the truck they mistook the miners to be rebels and opened fire killing six labourers,” the official told BBC, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to speak with the media.

As news spread of the killings, hundreds of locals surrounded the camp before burning vehicles belonging to the Assam Rifles and clashing with troopers using “crude weapons”, he said.

Soldiers then shot dead a further seven people, AFP news agency reported quoting state police officer Sandeep M Tamgadge.

By News Desk | Free Press Kashmir