New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday attacked the Centre over the killing of civilians in firing by security forces in Nagaland’s Mon district, saying it has again exposed the “rank incompetence and folly of the Modi government in pushing a hitherto peaceful North East into turmoil and violence”.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said the government must give a “real reply” as to what the Home Ministry is doing when “neither civilians, nor security personnel are safe in our own land”.

Security forces opened fire on civilians, killing 14 and injuring 11, in Nagaland’s Mon district in three consecutive incidents of firing, the first of which was possibly a case of mistaken identity, police said on Sunday. One soldier also died in the rioting which followed.

Reacting to the incident, Gandhi tweeted, “This is heart wrenching. GOI must give a real reply. What exactly is the Home Ministry doing when neither civilians, nor security personnel are safe in our own land?”

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in a tweet said, “Heartbreaking news coming out of Nagaland, my deepest condolences to all the bereaved families. They deserve justice.”

Party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the “killing of 13 civilians in Nagaland firing” has again exposed the “rank incompetence and folly of the Modi government in pushing a hitherto peaceful North East into turmoil and violence”.

The sheer scale of ignorance and incomprehension of the North East and its ethos has made the situation volatile, he said.

“The still born Nagaland Accord, the Assam-Mizoram border firing, the recent Manipur ambush, the toppling of government in Arunachal, the stifling of mandate in Manipur, all point towards the unpardonable sins of the Modi government at complete loss of strategy or direction for the North East,” Surjewala said.

In a tweet from its official Twitter handle, the Congress said, “Tragic news from Nagaland is highly distressing. Repeated incidents of violence in North East is a clear indication of the Modi government’s failure to maintain law and order and protect national security.”

“PM & HM — why is government unable to ensure safety of our civilians and security personnel,” the Congress asked.

The Army on Sunday ordered a Court of Inquiry into the killing of civilians and expressed deep regret over the incident.

Army officials said the operation in Mon district that borders Myanmar was carried out based on credible intelligence inputs about the likely movement of insurgents in the area.

It said the security forces suffered severe injuries in the operation and one soldier succumbed.

Also read: Khasi Students’ Union says Mon killings ‘solely due to draconian AFSPA’


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