Nagaland: Candle-lit Marches Held
Nagaland erupted in anger in the aftermath of the killings of 14 civilians in Mon district on Saturdy-Sunday by the Army, holding candle-lit marches in different parts of the state on Sunday evening.
A pall of gloom also descended over the Hornbill Festival site at Kisama in Kohima.
Over 500 people gathered holding candles and placards at a candlelight vigil organised by Konyak Union Dimapur (KUD) and Eastern Nagaland People’s Union Dimapur (ENPUD) at DC Court Junction, Dimapur on Sunday evening in solidarity with the cold-blooded killing of innocent civilians at Oting, Mon.
ENPUD president Shahoto Yimchunger urged the people to remember the purpose of the even and appealed to all to remain non-violent.
Speaking on the incident, he condemned the cowardice act of the security forces. He urged Government of India (GoI) to listen to the voices of Nagas and immediately repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Naga Council Dimapur (NCD) president Etsungmomo Kikon urged all Nagas to stand and fight united till justice was delivered. He assured support and assistance from NCD, while appealing to the gathering to fight for their rights in democratic manner.
Speaking on behalf of Naga student community, K Temjen Jamir said it was very tragic, hurting, and painful to see lives of innocent 15 Nagas cut short by the security forces.
“You are not here to protect us. We feel insecure in your presence,” he stated, adding that Nagas were capable of sorting our problem.
He also demanded that the perpetrators be booked and persecuted for first degree murder, while reiterating that the AFSPA should be revoked immediately.
Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) adviser pointed out that security forces were meant to provide security and protect citizens, not terrorise them by killing innocent people.
He alleged that many Nagas had been killed by forces by always putting the blame on “false intel” and “mistaken identity” under the cover AFSPA. He questioned whether the intelligence of security forces were to kill innocent civilians.
When all underground groups were in peaceful negotiations with New Delhi, he questioned the intention of the Central government to still have AFSPA in Nagaland.
Hundreds of people marched at Kisama entry gate holding candles and placards under the aegis of Konyak Students’ Union, Kohima to mourn those killed at Oting on Saturday.
The placards read names of the deceased and slogans like “We want justice”, “We condemn the killing of Innocent civilians by the Indian Army”, etc.
Eastern Naga Public Union Kohima president N Toshi Chang said the Saturday’s incident was not new. He said for so many decades now Naga people were telling the government to free the State from AFSPA.
Representatives from Eastern College Students’ Union, Konyak Students’ Union Kohima and Eastern Nagaland Students’ Union also spoke at the gathering.
Naga Students Federation (NSF) also organised a candle light service and prayer session at its office on Sunday night.
In a solidarity message, former NSF president Achumbemo Kikon said Nagas had suffered a lot at the hands of Indian security forces.