Thirty-year-old Eli Konyak is expecting her first child. She is five months pregnant.
Her husband Leiong Konyak, a resident of Chi Village in Nagaland’s Mon district, was killed during the protest against Assam Rifles on December 5, a day after the 13 civilian murders came to light.
Recalling the day, Eli said her husband went out on Sunday morning to the helipad in Mon where many from the Konyak tribe had gathered to mourn the death of the 13 civilians of Oting village killed by security forces the previous day. Later in the day, Leiong went out to protest against the killings but never returned home.
“When I give birth, who will my child call its father? I only want that my husband is returned. My heart is broken. It will be better if the Army is withdrawn from Nagaland. The Army should be taken out of Nagaland,” Eli said, while speaking to EastMojo.
Chingkap, Leiong’s younger brother, was the first one to receive the news of his brother’s death. He said he tried calling on his brother’s phone several times that day. And when he finally got through, he said it was someone else on the other side who informed him about his brother’s death. For Chingkhap, it wasn’t just a brother that he lost but a father figure.
“I could not even think properly…as to how to tell my mother and sister-in-law about this. I could not imagine what their condition would be. I cried when I heard the news about him. I could not even rush to the hospital at that moment because the situation was very tense and I was in the village. Eventually, after a few hours, we were able to see him,” Chingkap said.
The eldest son of the family, Leiong is survived by his grandparents, parents, a younger brother and his pregnant wife.
The government of Nagaland has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh and the Centre Rs 11 lakh along with government jobs to the families of those who lost their lives on December 4 and 5. But the family members of Leiong do not consider it justice.
“Money is not important, and whatever the government pays will go away. Any kind of justice is not going to bring back my brother and the others who were killed,” Chingkap said, adding that the cause of their death is the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
“Due to the power given to the military through AFSPA, innocent civilians were killed. And when the entire Konyak tribe and all of Nagaland was mourning their deaths, my brother was also killed. AFSPA is the only reason for the massacre. I don’t want such kinds of incidents to happen in the future to anyone in the world and not just in Nagaland or the Northeast. So, revoking of AFSPA would be the best justice that can be served,” Chingkap added.
The voices for the repeal of AFSPA has been gaining ground in the whole of Nagaland and other northeastern states following the brutal killing of the 14 civilians in Mon.
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