Nagaland: Several organizations have strongly condemned the Oting incident of Mon district, Nagaland, “where security forces opened fire on civilians killing” more than a dozen people. The incident reportedly occurred on Saturday evening. Some reports put the number of people killed at 13 while others said the number of deceased is 15.
Condemning the incident, Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) termed the incident as “genocide.” In a statement, the NPMHR said, “We, the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), resolutely condemn the genocide committed upon the humble workingcivilian villagers.” The NPMHR said it “squarely holds the Government of India with all its draconian and fascist laws responsible for letting loose their dogs of war to maul to shreds the innocent villagers of Oting who have committed no crime whatsoever except commitment to humbly earn their livelihood with dignity and honour.” The statement also said, “Even at this moment when we are making this statement, the Indian military and para-military forces are still engaged in their mayhem of killing the civilians in Mon town.” It added, “Our anguish is unspeakable at this moment of grief. Our hearts go to the families of the slain innocent villagers. The NPMHR stands with them all and shall walk with them through thick and thin.”
It then alleged that ever since “military aggression and occupation of the Naga homeland in 1954,” civilians and common Naga people have been the target of the Indian army and the para-military forces. The NPMHR further said that “armed with draconian and inhuman legal immunity by the Indian Parliament, the Government of India continues unabated to kill civilian and common people at any time and at any place of its conveniences”. It then added, “Our women folks were stripped of all human dignity by the armed forces of the world’s largest Democracy, India.”
Also condemning the incident, the NSCN-IM said, “Unprecedented in recent history, the absurdity and insanity of the Indian security forces has been exposed in the most brutish manner, a ‘black day’ for the Nagas as the Nagas mourn the barbaric killing of fifteen (15) innocent villagers in Oting village under Konyak Region (in Mon district, Nagaland) in the evening of December 4, 2021.” Ironically, the fact that the “ubiquitous Indian security forces has brought about toxic storm of bloody dust in Nagalim is not a new thing but a repeat of the past to suppress the legitimate Naga political movement,” the NSCN-IM also alleged.
It then said that the Indian security forces “will never be able to wash its hands off, smeared with the blood of innocent Nagas no matter how it come out with a nonsensical statement which is linked to credible intelligence reports of movement of insurgents”. The NSCN-IM added, “It is learned that the killing was the work of the trigger-happy 21st Para Commandos/Assam Rifles”.
The NSCN-IM then said that the Nagas had in the past faced a trigger-happy Indian security forces, acting with impunity under the Government of India’s Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act/AFSPA which is mainly used against the Naga political movement. “Notwithstanding the ongoing Indo Naga political dialogue that has seen much fruition during the period running more than two decades, the violence against the Nagas continues unabated,” added the NSCN-IM.
It then said that this was one of the most unfortunate incidents of the Indo-Naga ceasefire signed in 1997. It also said that under this situation “we find it difficult to use the right words to condemn the killing of unarmed civilians and it cannot be justified in any manner in this part of the civilized world (Nagalim) where the Indo-Naga peace process has seen much progress.” The NSCN-IM added that such a “barbaric act” of killing innocent people is against humanity and those responsible for such heinous acts should be brought to justice.
The NSCN-IM then expressed its deep anguish and conveys heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families in this hour of grief.
The Mao Council (MC) also strongly condemned the “massacre committed by the Assam Rifles on December 4, 2021 at Oting Village, Mon district killing 15 innocent Naga villagers and injuring many others by taking law into their own hand under the shield of notorious AFSPA.” It further said that this “gruesome crime” is beyond human tolerance. “This is yet another episode of the many heinous crimes against humanity by the Indian Paramilitary forces in the decades of Naga struggle for their political and historical rights,” stated the Mao Council.
The Mao Council then urged the Government of India to be sincere in upholding the Framework Agreement and in respecting the Cease fire ground rules. “They must cease the double-standards of cold blooded killings of the Naga civilians on the pretext of faulty intelligence inputs,” it asserted.
The Mao Council then “deeply mourns the death of our Konyak brothers from Oting village and expresses our deepest condolence to the bereaved families”. It then said, “May their souls rest in peace and may God grant solace to the bereaved families.”
The Mao Council then said that it will always stand by “our Konyak brothers” who were murdered and injured until justice is delivered and the culprits befittingly punished according to the law. “The draconian Act of AFSPA must be withdrawn from the land of peace-loving Nagas and the Mao people will stand in solidarity with the entire Naga people to fight against its very existence,” the Council added.
The United Naga Council (UNC), in the “strongest term,” condemned the “most barbaric act of killing more than 13 peaceful Naga civilians by the Indian security forces (Assam Rifles) on December 4, 2021, at Oting village of Mon district, Nagaland.”
The UNC said that it was “most unfortunate” in the recent history of the Nagas. “Such a condemnable act of terrorism caused upon the innocent villagers is in no way pardonable under any circumstances,” said the UNC.
“Todays’ insane action of the security forces critically unfolded their hypocrisy to the slogan of Friends of the Hill People,” the UNC pointed out. It further said that Nagas need to rethink “their intentional attitudes of cruelty and savagery behaviour”.
It then said, “We will not be deterred by any amount of such bruits and barbarism till our political goal is achieved,” the UNC asserted.
The Naga body then “shares the grief and pains of the bereaved families, relatives and their near and dear ones and also pray that their soul rest in peace.” The UNC also said that it “prays and wishes” all the injured a speedy recovery.