‘Killing of civilians in Nagaland brought back trauma of many such massacres in Northeast’
Imphal, Dec. 8 (EMN): The killing of civilians in Nagaland’s Mon district brought back the trauma of many such massacres in the Northeast, particularly in Manipur.
The activists and kin of victims of massacres in Manipur were shocked over the Mon incident, wherein 14 civilians were killed by central armed forces on Dec. 4 and 5. Since the last few decades, Manipur had been experiencing such massacres including the infamous Malom Massacre in 2000.
82-year-old Tokpam Somorendra, who lost his 19-year-old son Shantikumar in the Malom massacre, said that the incident at Mon (Nagaland) reminds of the Malom incident that happened 21 years ago.
“It was a really shocking incident. This is anti-social and anti-democratic. It seems we’ve no security for life. The administrators should think twice. Giving more independence to the forces is not good,” Somorendra said.
‘On November 2, 2000, ten innocent civilians including a national bravery awardee were killed by the personnel of the 8th Assam Rifles after a bomb blast had occurred in the nearby area at Malom Makha Leikai near Imphal airport. The incident, which later came to be known as the ‘Malom massacre’ had not only shocked the people of Manipur but the whole country.
Protesting the incident, Irom Chanu Sharmila also known as Iron lady of Manipur had even taken the harsh decision to go on indefinite fast till the AFSPA 1958 is repealed, in November 2000. She was arrested under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code on charges of attempt to commit suicide and held at a prison hospital, where the authority forced-fed her through the nose for years till she broke her fast in August 2016.
On providing compensation in 2015 following a High Court order, the convener of the Ten Innocent Victims’ Memorial Trust Committee, said, “We feel good at one point that the 10 people who were killed were proven innocent by the law. But we’re still demanding punishment for the involved security personnel. After all, no one can bring back the departed souls.”
In 2014, the Manipur High Court had ordered INR 5 lakh compensation for each of the families of the 10 victims of Malom massacre. On the other hand, Manipur-based activist Onil Ksh alleged that Nagaland’s brutal killing of innocent indigenous people captures the continuity of the army’s freehand in exercising gross human rights violation under the military law Afspa (Armed Forces Special Power Act 1958) in Northeast and J&K.