Kohima: Temjen Imma Along, state president of the BJP Nagaland unit, said he was deeply anguished and heartbroken by the killing of 13 innocent civilians last evening by the Assam Rifles in Mon district.

“There can never be any justification for such kind of massacre targeting innocent civilians. The innocent victims were labourers returning from a hard day’s work and were not armed with any firearms whatsoever. It is, therefore, tantamount to war crimes during peace time and amounts to summary execution as well as genocide,” Along said in a statement.

“The rogue Assam Rifles personnel responsible for this heinous crime have to be brought to justice and made to answer truthfully as to how innocent, unarmed persons were gunned down; why the AR could not discern that the 6 persons in the pickup truck were unarmed, innocent civilians; on what basis the commanding officer gave the firing order etc.,” the statement added.

“This incident is a very big discouragement to the Nagas as a whole, especially at a time when one of our very own Konyak Naga sons from the Tizit area itself was martyred in an ambush in Manipur, not even a month back. Why do you kill our sons when our sons are also the ones making supreme sacrifices for the country?” he asked.

Along appealed to the Government of India and the state government to provide immediate ex-gratia to the next of kin, followed by additional compensatory measures.

“We wish the injured person (s) a speedy recovery. May the departed souls rest in eternal peace. May God be with it during this dark day,” he added.

National and state leaders have unequivocally condemned the incident and called for a high-level probe into the incident. Congress President Rahul Gandhi called the killings of civilians “heart-wrenching”.


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