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Bandh Over Killing of Civilians Disrupts Normal Life in Five Nagaland Districts

The coffins of deceased civilians are laid out in a row during a public funeral in Mon, Nagaland on December 6, 2021. (AP File Photo/Fifi Konyak)

The coffins of deceased civilians are laid out in a row during a public funeral in Mon, Nagaland on December 6, 2021. (AP File Photo/Fifi Konyak)

Altogether 14 civilians in Mon district were killed on December 4 and 5 in three consecutive episodes of firing by security forces, the first of which has been claimed to be a case of mistaken identity.

Normal life was affected in parts of Nagaland on Thursday as tribal bodies observed bandh in five districts over the recent killing of 14 civilians in firing by security forces. Government and private offices and business establishments remained closed during the shutdown and vehicular traffic was paralysed as members of the Eastern Nagaland Peoples' Organisation (ENPO), the apex tribal body, staged demonstrations in Tuensang, Longleng, Kiphire and Noklak districts, and the Konyak Union, the organisation representing Konyak Naga tribe, to which the slain civilians belonged, held protest rallies in Mon.

Altogether 14 civilians in Mon district were killed on December 4 and 5 in three consecutive episodes of firing by security forces, the first of which has been claimed to be a case of mistaken identity.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had told the Lok Sabha that the army had received information on the movement of insurgents in Mon and '21 Para Commando' unit had laid an ambush. Regretting the death of the civilians, he had said security forces fired in self-defence.

However, several political parties contested the government version that the vehicle was asked to stop. The tribal bodies threatened to intensify their protests until justice is served in the incidents. The Konyak Union has also demanded an apology from Shah for his statement in Parliament that the security forces fired in self-defence.

The families of the 14 civilians had also refused government compensation until the personnel involved in the firing are "brought to justice".

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first published:December 16, 2021, 13:32 IST