Nagaland: Funeral for civilians killed by security forces held in Mon
CM Neiphiu Rio leads mass funeral service and demands repeal of a controversial law that grants impunity to security forces.
- However, the Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio urged the removal of AFSPA from Nagaland.
KOHIMA- The funeral service for civilians “mistakenly” killed by security forces at Oting village in Mon district of Nagaland held amid intense security and sporadic internet outages aimed at damping fresh unrest in the remote region.
Hundreds of mourners laid wreaths on the coffins of the dead, lined up on a public playground, as the state’s Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio led a mass funeral service in the district of Mon, the site of the incident.
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The Indian army has expressed “deep regret” over the intelligence lapse but state residents have demanded a shutdown of its operations, with camps being moved out of civilian areas.
Police registered a complaint against a paramilitary unit over the incident, saying there had been no police guide nor a request for one from security forces.
Anger over the incident is rising in Nagaland, where people have frequently accused security forces of wrongly targeting innocent locals in counterinsurgency operations against rebel groups under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
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Besides sweeping powers of search and arrest, the law, enforced in parts of four of the seven northeastern states, allows Indian forces to open fire to maintain public order in areas designated as “disturbed areas”.
Nagaland is covered by the law as India says rebel groups operate from thick jungles of an unfenced region that also spans the neighbouring states of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, which border Myanmar.
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However, the Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio urged the removal of AFSPA from Nagaland.
“Today, the whole world is criticising AFSPA and now the Nagaland government wants AFSPA to be withdrawn,” Neiphiu Rio said.