Wednesday, February 21, 2024

NPCC holds state govt responsible for Oting massacre


Demands all-party Parl panel to probe Dec 4 Oting killings

Staff Reporter

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Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) president K Therie has blamed chief minister Neiphiu Rio for the Oting incident that claimed lives of several innocent civilians as, according to him, law and order was a State subject. He alleged that the State government was solely responsible for the loss of 15 lives, including one army personnel.
Addressing the media at Congress Bhavan here on Thursday, Therie said that the party has written to the President of India with a three-point charter of demands. These include constitution of an all-party parliamentary committee to investigate Oting massacre, deliver justice by arresting the culprits and implement political solution under President’s Rule to avoid bias and ill-will.
Therie said that Nagaland was the territory of the chief minister and questioned why the troops of 21 Para Special Forces from Jorhat were brought in to attack people in Nagaland.
He noted that Oting massacre happened with intelligence report, which could not escape the ears of the chief minister and home minister. “Military cannot take suo motto action when there is cease fire,” he added.
He remarked that it was very clear from the State List that public order was a State subject, adding that life and security of people was the responsibility of the State’s chief minister and the government. He pointed out that law and order was a State subject and not of the army or the union home ministry.
He said that 21 Para troopers operated under 4 Corps of Indian Army based at Tezpur, which looked after Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, while Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram fell under 3 Corps.
Therie further pointed out that according to Concurrent List 2A, para troopers or home ministry forces could not be used without the chief minister’s requisition.
“Thus, chief minister was very much in the knowledge from the beginning to the end about Oting massacre and he is responsible,” he alleged.
He asked if there was any law and order problem, why superintendent of police or deputy commissioner did not use their administration powers.
He alleged that the “objective” of the State government was to derail peace, so that the chief minister could continue to fish in “troubled waters”.
Referring to the statement made by Union home minister Amit Shah in Parliament that the incident was a case of “mistaken identity” and by State lone Lok Sabha member Tokheho Yepthomi that intelligence report was about movement of NSCN (K) cadres in the area, the NPCC president said cadres of NSCN (K) were not the only ones roaming in the area.
Mentioning that all factions were there and also some at designated camps located nearby, he questioned why target only one faction that was under ceasefire.
Alleging that the Oting incident was a gameplan to derail the peace process, he asked why Government of India wanted to violate the ceasefire agreement.
Hitting out at the State government for having failed to come out with a proper statement on the Oting incident till date, he accused the latter of trying to shrug off its responsibility.
Therie further alleged that, after taking over the reins of the government, Rio adopted the policy to facilitate and support the ongoing peace process. Instead, Therie said several thousand youths joined the resistant forces and also causing splits within groups, for reasons best known to them.
He pointed out that there were currently 11 factions in the state, with nine ceasefire monitoring offices in Dimapur, guarded with over thousand AK47 and other unseen arms, collecting “multi-government taxes” from businesses.
Therie also alleged that the State’s administration, police and judiciary were subverted, whereby courts of resistant forces had become more important than the government’s. “State government does not have any control, be it land dispute, criminals, opening or closing shop. Anything you say, it is with the permission of the resistant forces,” he added.
Pointing out that the change promised by Rio’s government after 2018 included the decision to actively facilitate the resistant forces, Therie observed that corruption level and infrastructure developments have remained the same.
He accused Rio of actually not wanting the political solution to be implemented, pointing out that even after governor had stated in Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) that talks had concluded, Rio had moved a resolution urging the Central government to resume talks.
He recalled how Rio had made a statement in NLA on August 3 that Government of India (GoI) had not rejected separate flag and constitution and integration, and that the same would be pursued post agreement.
On the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, Therie asserted that the draconian Act was not necessary in the State as all the resistant forces were under cease fire and 99% of the citizens were peaceful.
He stressed that there was no need for AFSPA in the State, given the fact that ceasefire agreements were signed between resistant groups and GoI.
Meanwhile, Therie said NPCC has set a three-point charter of demands. These include constitution of an all-party parliamentary committee to investigate Oting massacre, deliver justice by arresting the culprits and implement political solution under President’s Rule to avoid bias and ill-will.

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