India

‘Soldiers behind Mon massacre wanted gallantry medals’

Armed forces destroyed hard-earned trust with the December 4 incident, says Konyak Union

An apex body representing the Konyak Naga community said the December 4 killing of 14 civilians by the armed forces was driven by the desire for gallantry medals.

The massacre happened at Oting village in Nagaland’s Mon district, which is dominated by Konyaks.

“The Konyak community had reposed trust in the Indian Army and the Indian Union for almost 60 years and maintained peace and tranquillity within the community. The community has also been yearning for a solution to the protracted Naga political issue at the earliest,” the union said.

But it regretted that the “hard-earned trust and expectations” was destroyed by the armed forces with the botched ambush leading to the death of civilians, six of them coal miners returning home for the weekend.

“The incident clearly indicates their actual motive and intention was to win awards with promotions and other gallantry medals,” the union said.

The union also restricted mediapersons from covering stories or reporting from “ground zero” Oting. This, it said, was to pave the way for a smooth investigation into the December 4 incident and not create unnecessary disturbances for the bereaved family members.

Also Read: Identify, book all soldiers involved in Mon massacre: Nagaland union

The union said it will instead invite the media fraternity to district headquarters Mon on December 11 for a briefing.

The people of Oting had earlier banned the entry of armed forces, political parties and pressure groups during the seven-day mourning period from December 7.

The Konyak Union acknowledged the concern and solidarity of both the Central and State governments for the victims through financial support but said such commitments should be fulfilled in letter and spirit.


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