A week after the tragic death of 14 young people in Nagaland’s Mon District during a botched operation by the special forces of the Army, the family members of the victims, and the villagers, have decided not to receive any government compensation until the Army personnel involved in last week’s firing are “brought to justice” and the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is removed.
This decision was taken today by the family members and residents of the Oting village in Mon district. Out of the 14 people who died, 12 were residents of this village.
A statement issued by the village council of Oting has clarified that an envelope containing Rs 18,30,00 was brought to them by a Minister and the Deputy Commissioner of the district. “The Village Council Oting assume(d it) as a token of love and gift from the Honourable Minister Shri Paiwang Konyak,” the statement said.
However, they say that they later learned the money was an advance payment of an installment of the compensation to be paid by the state government. The village council Oting and the victims’ families then decided to not receive the compensation until “the culprit of 21st Para Commandos of the Indian Arm Force is brought to justice before the Civil code of law” and AFSPA is repealed from the entire North-Eastern region of India, the statement, signed by Longwang Konyak, Chairman of the Oting village council, added.
The Nagaland government has approved payment of Rs 5 lakh each as compensation to the families of the 14 people killed in the firing by special forces. Those injured have been sanctioned Rs 50,000 each.