The nation is all set to celebrate its 73rd Republic Day. However, things are not the same in Nagaland that had protested against the celebrations in response to a tragic incident that occured in it’s Mon district a year ago.
What Was The Mon District Incident All About?
In the evening of December 4, 2021, fifteen people – thirteen civilians and a soldier were killed in a fire incident between Oting and Tiru villages in Nagaland’s Mon district as reported by the Superintendent of Police Imnalensa.
A group of daily-wage workers from Oting village were allegedly shot at by security agents while going home from a coal mine in a pick-up van, according to an official. Local sources have further reported that volunteers from the hamlet went looking for them after they hadn’t returned for several hours and discovered their deaths in the van.
Locals are said to have set fire to two security vans in an outburst of rage.
The Immediate Actions Taken
Assam Rifles claimed in a statement that a specific operation had been prepared in the area “based on solid intelligence of expected insurgent movement.”
“The incident, as well as the consequences, are greatly regretted. The reason for the tragic deaths is being investigated at the highest level, and appropriate legal action will be taken as soon as possible,” added the statement.
According to the Assam Rifles, one soldier died and several others were severely injured in the incident.
According to a police official, the operation was carried out based on information about the movements of militants from Myanmar’s outlawed NSCN (K) Yung Aung branch. The police officer also revealed that Mon shares a porous international border with Myanmar.
Nagaland Governor Jagdish Mukhi released an official statement announcing the formation of a special inquiry team to look into the shooting event. According to the official statement, “SIT will investigate the situation from all sides.”
According to the governor, a court of investigation has been established against the army troops implicated. He urged all citizens to keep the peace.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio condemned the incident, saying it was “very condemnable” and that the case would be investigated by a “high-level” special investigative team to guarantee “justice is served.” He urged people from all walks of life to pray for peace.
The chief minister, who was in Delhi for a meeting with defence minister Rajnath Singh, has raced back to Kohima to convene an emergency meeting.
The Present Scenario
Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation, a civil society organisation in Nagaland, has advised people not to join in Republic Day celebrations in the state’s eastern region as a protest against the security forces’ failed operation that resulted in the Mon district tragedy. ENPO is the main civil society organisation in Mon, Kiphire, Tuensang, Phek, Noklak, and Longleng, Nagaland’s six eastern districts.
In a letter sent on Friday, the civil society group recalled the resolution passed at a joint consultative meeting of all Eastern Nagaland civil societies on December 14 last year at Longleng in response to the fire event.
According to sources, the state administration has not delegated any ministers or MLAs to any Republic Day events in the Mon district, where the shooting occurred.
It was decided that the people of eastern Nagaland will “extend non-cooperation to the security forces” until the families of the victims, in particular, and the people of Nagaland, in general, receive justice for the gruesome killings of innocent people by security forces in Mon district.
“Abstaining from any national celebrations, or such activities” shall be the form of non-cooperation.
The Nagaland administration, on the other hand, approved the appointment of family members of the victims to empty posts in state agencies and departments on Friday.
The state government has accepted the appointment of the family members of 12 victims, according to an order issued by Abhijit Sinha, Nagaland’s Home Commissioner.
Disclaimer: THIS STORY IS FACT CHECKED
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This post is tagged under India, Republic Day, 73rd Republic Day, Nagaland, Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation, Abhijit Sinha, Eastern Nagaland civil societies, Mon, Kiphire, Tuensang, Phek, Noklak, Longleng, Rajnath Singh, Neiphiu Rio, Jagdish Mukhi, NSCN (K), Oting, Tiru, Assam Rifles