NSCN condemns HM’s statement on Otting massacre

‘No political talks will be meaningful under the shadow of AFSPA’

ITANAGAR, 8 Dec: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) has taken strong exception to the “irresponsible” statement made by union Home Minister Amit Shah in Parliament on the mass killing of civilians by the 21st Para Commandos of the Indian Army in Otting, in Mon district of Nagaland, on 4 December.

The NSCN said that Shah’s statement came at a time when the Nagas are in a state of mourning in solidarity with their brethren belonging to the Konyak community.

“In a situation like this, Amit Shah was expected to show political maturity and practical statesmanship in order to cool down the socio-political upheavals. Ironically, he poured fuel to the burning issue by standing behind the para commandos under his command with his fictional sleuth stories supporting the para commandos for their heinous act of killings. This is like rubbing salt and chilli into the wounds of the Nagas,” the NSCN-GPRN said in a press statement.

“There was no signal to stop the pickup van of the coal labourers as mentioned by Amit Shah in the Parliament. One of the survivors, Sheiwang, who is undergoing treatment at the Assam Medical College and Hospital in Dibrugarh, said ‘They shot right at us, no signal to stop, we did not flee,'” it said.

The NSCN said that “it was a botched ambush with a deliberate mission to kill and nothing to do with ‘credible’ intelligence of NSCN movement in the area. Nothing can be far from the truth that it was something executed deliberately.”

“What is most sinister is when the army was found stripping naked the dead bodies of the Naga civilians with military dress to give the impression in the eyes of the media and the world that they have gunned down the militants. Luckily, they were caught red-handed by the villagers before they succeeded through their plan,” it said.

Stating that no political talks will be meaningful under the shadow of the AFSPA, the NSCN demanded that the government of India immediately withdraw the notorious Act, which the NSCN said has given the Indian security forces the licence to shoot and kill anyone on mere suspicion.

“We Nagas have endured the insults heaped on our human dignity for too long. The Nagas have had the bitter taste of this Act on numerous occasions and it has spilled enough blood. Blood and political talks cannot go together. The Nagas can no longer be made the laughing stock in the eyes of the world,” the statement said.

“Let human dignity take control and be made an integral part of the Naga political peace process. Unfortunately, the Otting killing has become a threat to the Nagas’ longing for Naga political solution,” the release said.

“Placed under this compelling situation, the NSCN puts on record that enough is enough, the atrocities and tortures meted out to the Naga people by the Indian soldiers. Now if the government of India wants to do justice to the Naga people, the AFSPA must be immediately withdrawn and investigation for proper prosecution must be immediately constituted. Investigation must be independent and transparent,” the statement said.

“Prosecution must be done for justice for the people in general and the victims in particular. It must also be transparent, so that scrutiny from any quarter must sustain. It is necessary to remind oneself that the reckless perpetration of atrocities and tortures meted out to the Naga people during the Oinam’s Bluebird Operation in 1987 for which a case was taken up in the Gauhati High Court (GHC) but when judgment was about to be delivered by the GHC, the chief justice of India had prevented may be at the behest of the GoI from writing the required judgment,” the NSCN-GPRN said.

“Thus, the Indian soldiers are emboldened beyond measures and they have been treating the Nagas like subhuman beings, without fear of any scrutiny of the court of law. This time round, the Naga people expect that the judgment must be transparent and must be swiftly delivered. This is the only way to establish absolute fidelity between the Naga people and government of India,” the statement said.