Oting killings: NPP flays SC over stay order on criminal proceedings against accused - Eastern Mirror
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Oting killings: NPP flays SC over stay order on criminal proceedings against accused

By EMN Updated: Jul 25, 2022 7:50 pm

Dimapur, July 26 (EMN): The National People’s Party (NPP) Nagaland State unit has expressed shock over the Supreme Court staying the criminal proceedings against the army personnel in connection with the Oting killing incident last year and requested the government of India to serve justice to the victims’ families by taking ‘necessary steps as early as possible to prosecute the accused persons in accordance with the law of the land’.

Hearing two pleas seeking to quash the FIR, Special Investigation Team (SIT) recommendations and others, the apex court had on July 19 stayed the proceedings against 30 members of the operation team of 21-Para Security Forces who were named in the charge sheet filed by the Nagaland Police in connection with the Mon killing incident where 14 unarmed civilians were killed on December 4 and the 5th in 2021.

On the SC’s order, the NPP stated that, being the epitome of justice, it should have honoured the FIR, findings and recommendations of the SIT appointed by the state government, and other ancillary proceedings arising out of the incident including the complaint filed by the National Human Rights Commission.

Accusing the SC of taking the side of the petitioner, the NPP said the right to life guaranteed by the Indian Constitution in Article 21 has been totally ignored. It went on to ask the apex court if the acts of the Army personnel amounts to “Mutiny” as defined in the Army Act and if “their (army) moral duty of performing their bona fide duties tantamount to ravaging the rights of innocent people”.

Citing the FIRs filed under several sections of the IPC in connection with the incident, it said the Nagaland Assembly had resolved in a special session to demand the Government of India to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, considering the seriousness of the crime. It added that the writ petitions filed by several agencies to bring justice to the bereaved families of the dead and the wounded should be considered.

The NPP Nagaland also asked if the perpetrators’ refusal to be bound by the judgment of the SIT reports amounts to willful disobedience of the judgment of the highest investigative body.

Petitioners accused of playing delay tactics

On the petitioner’s claim that the SIT had acted in a arbitrary, unilateral and illegal manner is “condemnable”, the party stated.

Stating that the members of the SIT are well qualified and experienced professionals, the NPP said the questioning of SIT findings and filing of writ petitions are diversionary tactics “to bring this matter to a dead end or to let it die a slow death before the accused are brought to justice”.

It went on to ask if the SIT was “trying to appease the public outcry” as alleged by the petitioner or had conducted the investigations in a fair manner.

Pointing out that Article 53(2) of the Indian Constitution says “the supreme command of the Defence Forces of the Union shall be vested in the President and exercise thereof shall be regulated by Law”, the party said the need of the hour is to immediately serve justice to the families who have lost their dear ones.

NPP further tendered an apology for issuing the press release on July 25 with inadvertent errors.

By EMN Updated: Jul 25, 2022 7:50:31 pm