Konyak Union, an influential tribal body in Nagaland, on Saturday demanded an apology from Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his “misleading statement” in Parliament on the killing of civilians by Indian forces last week.
In a press meet, Konyak Union spokesperson T Yanlem called Amit Shah’s statement “shameful”, and told reporters the incident was not a case of “mistaken identity.”
She demanded that the home minister retract his statement.
“The 21 Para commandos, an elite force, did a blunder without asserting anything. They killed six young boys…they were innocent villagers returning home,” she said.
The tribal leader also launched an attack against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, calling it a law of “torture, rape and killing.”
In a statement in the Parliament, Shah pointed out that the vehicle, carrying the six civilians who were gunned down in an area between Tiru and Oting village in Nagaland’s Mon district, was signalled to stop but it tried to flee. Following this, it was fired upon by the security forces, who had mistaken the civilians as extremists, said Shah.
14 members of the region’s predominant Konyak tribe were killed last week after Indian forces opened fire.
“How can Union Home Minister Amit Shah give such a statement without checking the facts? How can he be so wrong?” Yanlem asks.
“We are asking for justice… we don’t need sympathy. Twisting of truth is unfortunate. Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in Parliament [is] confusing the world with wrong information,” said the tribal body’s Vice President Honang Konyak.
“We will not rest until justice is delivered to those 14 Konyak youth who were killed,” he said.
The union held massive protests in Mon district and burned Amit Shah’s effigy.
Amit Shah’s statement in Parliament has also been criticised by Congress and Meghalaya’s Nationalist People’s Party, a BJP ally.
Konyak Union had called the incident as “Oting Yatong massacre,” urging the President to book and punish all military forces or army personnel involved in the incident under applicable civil court.
The Nagaland Police has lodged an FIR against the paramilitary forces, stating the intention of the security forces was to “murder and injure civilians.”