The Center refused permission to prosecute 30 army personnel

by Ana Lopez

The central government has refused permission to prosecute 30 accused army personnel of the massacre in Nagaland in December 2021. According to the Nagaland State Police, 14 local youths were killed by Indian Army personnel during counter-insurgency operations in Nagaland in December 2021. The central government has refused to allow action against the 30 army personnel involved in the incident.
Police said on Thursday that the court has been informed about the denial of clearance by the Union Defense Ministry. On December 4, 2021, soldiers of the 21-Para Special Force of the Indian Army were patrolling in the Tiru-Oting area of ​​Mon district. In the meantime, the army personnel opened fire on the laborers working in the coal mine mistaking them for separatists, in which six laborers were killed. Soon after the incident, angry villagers set fire to two security vehicles, security forces started another round of firing. In which seven more villagers and one security personnel were killed. Another local youth was killed in firing by security forces in Som town the next day amid tension and protests.

An SIT headed by the Nagaland police chief probed the incident and sought the Union Defense Ministry’s approval to take action against the soldiers on March 24, 2022. The SIT had on May 30, 2022 named 30 jawans of the 21-para Special Force as accused in its charge sheet before the court. The charges against him include murder, attempted murder and destruction of evidence. The SIT said the miners were “fired with the clear intention to kill”.
Various laws, including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), give wide powers to security forces in restive areas. The army has also set up an independent court to probe the incident. The Army has assured action against anyone found guilty. However, the army later said it could not take any action as the matter was before the Supreme Court.

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