Nagaland Killings: “Appropriate Action Will Be Taken,” Says Army Chief

New Delhi: Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane has affirmed that “appropriate action” will be taken against troops involved in the killing of 14 civilians during an operation in Nagaland last month.

While addressing his annual press conference on Wednesday, the Army Chief stated, ”The matter is being investigated thoroughly and appropriate and corrective action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation.”

The Army Chief also condemned this incident which occurred in the Mon district of Nagaland involving troops from the elite 21 Para SF and called it “regrettable.”

An internal inquiry is being conducted by the Army and it is being led by a Major General.

The inquiry team visited Oting Village to inspect the ambush site and get a deeper insight into the circumstances that led to the deaths.

However, it seems like the civil society groups in the district are not fully convinced about this move as a result of which they have raised doubts over the credibility of the inquiry.

The Konyak Union has expressed its dissatisfaction with some of the questions asked of witnesses.

Civil Groups have demanded to deliver the justice as soon as possible and have warned that “justice delayed was justice denied.”

The killings clearly did not go down well with the locals generating massive backlash against the armed forces and the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA.

The AFSPA gives sweeping powers to security personnel stationed in conflict zones.

The relatives of the deceased along with the Nagaland Government are concerned about the fact that the center may invoke this law to shield the involved soldiers from criminal charges.

However, an FIR had been filed by the Nagaland Police against the 21 Para SF troops involved in the killing. The FIR alleged that the intention of the security forces was to “murder and injure innocent civilians.”

The entire incident triggered widespread criticism and triggered vehement protests against AFSPA with many, including the Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, calling for this law to be revoked.

However, their efforts went in vain as the center decided to further extend the AFSPA for six months in Nagaland.

Source: Sentinel Assam

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