Bandh after killing of civilians disrupts normal life in five Nagaland districts

Normal life was affected in parts of Nagaland on Thursday as tribal bodies observed bandh in five districts following the recent killing of 14 civilians by security forces.

Government and private offices and commercial establishments remained closed during the shutdown, and automobile traffic was paralyzed as members of the East Nagaland Peoples Organization (ENPO), the umbrella tribal body, staged protests in Tuensang, Longleng, Kiphire and Noklak districts, and the Konyak Union, the organization representing the Konyak Naga tribe, to which the killed civilians belonged, held protest rallies on Monday.

A total of 14 civilians in Mon district were killed on December 4 and 5 in three consecutive episodes of shooting by security forces, the first of which was reportedly a mistaken identity.

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Union Home Secretary Amit Shah told Lok Sabha that the military had received information about insurgent movement in Mon and that the ’21 Para Commando ‘unit had ambushed. Regretting the deaths of civilians, he said the security forces fired in self-defense.

However, several political parties contested the government’s version that the vehicle was asked to stop. Tribal organs have threatened to intensify their protests until justice is served in the incidents.

The Konyak Union also demanded an apology from the Shah for his statement in parliament that the security forces fired in self-defense. The families of the 14 civilians also refused compensation from the government until the personnel involved in the shooting were “brought to justice”.

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