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Civil society groups abstain as Nagaland celebrates Republic day

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Kohima, Jan 26: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said justice will be delivered to the families of the people who were gunned down by the security forces in the Mon district in December 2021.

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An elite unit of the Army had killed 13 people of Oting and Tiru villages on December 4 in a botched operation and resultant violence. A soldier was also hacked to death while another civilian was killed after a mob attacked an Assam Rifles camp in the district headquarters Mon on December 5.

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“My fellow citizens, as we celebrate the Republic Day, we also take note of the unfortunate firing incidents that occurred in December last year in Oting-Tiru village area and Mon town, which led to the unfortunate death of 14 innocent civilians, and serious injuries to many others. We are taking every measure to lessen the pain of the family members, who lost their near and dear ones, as well as of all those who suffered injuries,” Rio said.

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He said the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the State government to probe the incident has made good progress. The Army, too, constituted a court of inquiry said to be completing its investigation at a fast pace, he said.

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“We are sure that justice will be delivered for the families,” the Chief Minister said.

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He recalled how the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 was implemented in Nagaland due to extremism in the 1950s. He said he was hopeful about the Act being lifted in view of the ceasefire with the Naga political (extremist) groups since 1997.

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