Violence escalates in northeast India after forces mistakenly fired at civilians, killing 14 – .

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Violence escalates in northeast India after forces mistakenly fired at civilians, killing 14 – .


Protesters threw stones and set fire to areas around a camp owned by Indian forces in the remote northeast, with a civilian shot dead in renewed violence a day after 14 people were killed by the defense forces, officials said.
At least 14 civilians and a member of the security forces were killed in Nagaland state on Saturday evening, after Indian forces mistook a group of workers for militants and opened fire.

More than a dozen civilians and some members of the security forces were also injured in the incident and the violence that followed, a New Delhi-based federal defense ministry official said.

Indian Interior Minister Amit Shah said he was “distressed” by the news of the deaths of civilians, members of a local tribal group.

The shooting blamed on intelligence failure

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio told Reuters an investigation would be carried out and those responsible would be punished. He said the incident was the result of an intelligence failure.

Northeast India is home to a complex web of tribal groups, many of whom have launched insurgencies, accusing New Delhi of plundering resources and doing little to improve their lives.

The people of Nagaland have frequently accused the security forces of falsely targeting innocent residents in their counterinsurgency operations against rebel groups.

On Sunday, civilians launched protests against the government in the Mon district of Nagaland, where the 14 tribe members were killed.

Civilian killed during the 2nd demonstration

“There is a crowd outside throwing stones,” a security official who did not want to be named from the camp, who was surrounded by protesters, told Reuters.

“A civilian was shot dead and two others wounded by Assam Rifles fire not long ago in the town of Mon,” Noklem Konyak, president of the Konyak Students’ Union, told Reuters by telephone. .

Konyak is the dominant tribe in Mon district.

Indian military and government officials were not immediately available to comment on the latest murder.

A man from the village of Kisama in the Indian state of Nagaland walks behind a sign displayed at the Hornbill festival site, which was closed after the defense forces killed more than a dozen civilians on Sunday. (AFP/Getty Images)

6 minors killed in an ambush

Saturday’s incident took place in and around the village of Oting in Mon district, on the Myanmar border, during a counterinsurgency operation led by members of the Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force. the country, a senior Nagaland-based police official said.

The shooting began when a truck carrying 30 or more coal mine workers drove past the Assam rifle camp.

“The soldiers had information about some militant movements in the area and upon seeing the truck, mistook the miners for rebels and opened fire, killing six workers,” the senior police official told Reuters. on condition of anonymity.

8 villagers killed after the encirclement of the camp

“After news of the shooting spread through the village, hundreds of tribesmen surrounded the camp. They set Assam Rifles vehicles on fire and clashed with the soldiers using rudimentary weapons, ”he said.

Members of the Assam Rifles retaliated and in the second attack eight other civilians and a member of the security forces were killed, the official said.

The Naga Mothers Association (NMA), an influential rights advocacy group in Nagaland, called on all Naga tribes to mourn the loss of civilian life and demanded that Indian army cantonments be moved out of civilian areas .

“Let the world know our sorrow and our sorrow, and let our voices of protest be heard against the continued militarization and killings under the Armed Forces Powers Act,” said Abeiu Meru, chairman of the NMA. The law gives the armed forces extensive powers to search and stop, and to open fire if they deem it necessary for the maintenance of public order in parts of the country that they have declared as “disturbed areas”.

Parts of Nagaland received this designation by the federal government last year.

Police and local government officials have stepped up their vigilance and patrols across the border state ahead of the final rites for the dead scheduled for Monday.

In recent years, India has attempted to persuade Myanmar to expel the rebels from bases in the thick jungles of the unfenced region, which borders Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

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