Thursday, April 18, 2024

‘Will not receive compensation until soldiers punished, AFSPA repealed’: Nagaland families

'Will not receive compensation until soldiers punished, AFSPA repealed': Nagaland families
The families of 14 civilians who were shot and killed by the Indian forces in Nagaland earlier this month have said that they will not accept compensation from the governments until the soldiers involved in the civilian killings are punished and the draconian AFSPA is repealed.

The families of 14 civilians who were shot and killed by the Indian forces in Nagaland earlier this month have said that they will not accept compensation from the governments until the soldiers involved in the civilian killings are punished and the draconian AFSPA is repealed.

In a statement, the Oting Village Council said that on 5 December when the villagers were busy with the funeral of their beloved, Rs 18.30 lakh was given by state minister P Paiwang Konyak and the district’s deputy commissioner. The village body said they assumed that the money was a gift from the minister, but later they came to know that the amount was an installment of the state government’s compensation.

“The Village Council Oting and victim family will not receive [compensation] until and unless the culprit of 21 Para Commandos of the Indian Armed Force are brought to justice before the Civil code of law and Armed Forces Special Power Act [AFSPA] is repealed from the entire North-Eastern region of India,” read the statement.

The statement was signed by Village Council chairman Longwang Konyak, Angh (‘king’) Tahwang, Deputy Angh Chingwang, and Gaon Burahs (village chieftains) of Mongnei and Nyanei, EastMojo reported.

Following the mass outrage against cold blood murder of more than a dozen civilians, Nagaland government announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation and the Union government Rs 11 lakh as well as a government job to the family of each victim.

On Saturday, Konyak Union, an influential tribal body in Nagaland, 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.”

The tribal leader also launched an attack against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, calling it a law of “torture, rape, and killing.”

Following the killings, the chief ministers of Nagaland and neighboring Meghalaya state, both allied to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government, called for the repeal of AFSPA, as did opposition politicians, human rights activists, and affected residents.

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