Sunday, August 14, 2022

Oting killings: PUDR demands prosecution of officers responsible

The People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) has demanded that the government should sanction the prosecution of the Army officers who are guilty of killing 14 civilians in Nagaland’s Oting in December last year, The Wire report stated. The Wire had revealed in an exclusive report on Wednesday that the commanding officer who led the counter-insurgency operation was aware for a full 50 minutes that the team’s ambush was laid on the wrong track.
The PUDR statement said that the SIT has “accused the army on multiple grounds” and that the post-mortem report shows that the killings of all 14 villagers, carried out over two consecutive operations, were deliberate in design.
Though the SIT had completed its investigation in March and submitted its chargesheet in mid-April and its final report in early May before a local court in Mon district, the report has not been made public. The army has also conducted an independent probe. “Since April, the SIT has been awaiting sanction from the Department of Military Affairs to proceed with prosecution.
More importantly, the Nagaland Chief Minister said in early March, that the SIT findings would be made public only after the Centre would give permission to prosecute,” the PUDR statement said.
PUDR also said that while the Centre had announced on March 31 that it would reduce the disturbed areas under the Armed Forces (Special Protection) Act (AFSPA), it had “said nothing about prosecuting guilty army personnel”. It demanded that the SIT findings should be made public and that the military authority and the Union government give sanction for prosecuting guilty Army officers “involved in the cold-blooded killings on December 4, 2021”.


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