Nagaland Killings: Supreme Court Stays Proceedings Against 30 Army Personnel

New Delhi: In a major relief to army personnel, booked by the state police in connection with the killing of 14 civilians in Nagaland’s Mon district last year, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday stayed the proceedings against them.

As per a report by Bar and Bench, a bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and V Ramasubramanian also took note of the matter that the death of a paratrooper during the incident is yet to investigate.

The development comes, as the top court was hearing two pleas, one of which was filed by Anjali Gupta wife of Major Ankush Gupta, who was one of the army officers booked by Nagaland Police.

The petitioner Gupta, in her petition, sought quashing of the First Information Report (FIR), the findings of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), and other all proceedings arising out of the December incident which also included the complaint filed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

“Performing their bonafide duties as directed by the Union of India, but the SIT so constituted to conduct a free and impartial investigation into the said incident has acted in a completely arbitrary, unilateral and illegal manner, by picking and choosing the evidence available before it to appease the public outcry and to assuage the concerns of the chose few,” the petitioner said in her petition as per Bar and Bench.

Taking cognizance of the above-mentioned incident, the NHRC filed a complaint against the Army personnel.

In addition to this, the Nagaland Police had also constituted an SIT to investigate the matter and after the completion of the investigation, the latter filed a charge sheet against the 30 army personnel.

Following the charge sheet, the Nagaland Government had sought permission from the Union government to act against the persons named in the charge sheet.

Around 16:10 hrs, on December 4, when the 8 villagers were returning home from the coal mining work at Tiru in a pickup truck, they were ambushed and killed by the troops of elite force at random, apparently without any attempt for identification.

On hearing the gunshots, the villagers went to the spot being apprehensive that the individuals did not return home from work. After reaching the spot, violence broke out between the villagers and the Security personnel. As a result, the irate villagers burnt 3 vehicles belonging to the Special Forces Personnel.

In the melee, the security personnel again opened fire against the villagers which led to the death of 7 more villagers. After the incident, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had said that the December 4 firing by the security forces that left 14 civilians killed and 30 others injured, was a misuse and abuse of the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, (AFSPA) 1958 which “is violation of human rights”.

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