By Imna Longchar
Dimapur (Nagaland), Dec 6: Mass funeral service of the 14 civilians who were killed in an ambush by the Armed Forces on Dec 4 was held on Monday at the helipad ground, Mon town.
Attended by thousands of people from different walks of life to pay their last respects, it was led by Nagaland chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, and his Cabinet Ministers, Advisors, MLAs, and several other state officials including deputy chief minister, Y Patton, in paying their respects.
Speaking at the funeral service, Rio said that Dec 4 and 5 is not only a “black day” for the Eastern Nagas but for all the Naga people.
Stating that their deaths would not go in vain and would not be forgotten, Rio reminded the people about their “supreme sacrifices” and added that one should work in unison to uplift each other to make Nagaland a peaceful state for the younger generation.
“They didn’t sacrifice their lives for the Indian but for the Nagas”, Rio added.
The chief minister while attending the funeral service of the slain Konyak brethren disclosed that the Government of Nagaland (GoN) has already announced an ex-gratia of Rs.5 lakhs for the families of the deceased.
He also informed that the central government has also announced compensation of Rs.11 lakh and government jobs for each of the families of the 14 people killed in the December 4 firing incident at Oting-Tizu area, Mon.
The slain civilians were identified as Ngampho, Langlun, Hokup, Langwang, Thapwang, Shomwang, Mampeih, S khahwang, Thakwang, Sheiwang, Phaokam, Yinjung, and Pepon.
Terming the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as “draconian law”, Neiphiu has asked the Central government to repeal the Act and demanded for removal of the same.
He said that the world is criticizing the Act and even the Human Rights Commission and the State government are voicing for its removal.
“When there is ceasefire, peace, and no disturbance, why the centre has to keep on extending the AFSPA?” Rio questioned while adding that Naga people have always opposed to it.
Rio assured the people that the components of the joint memorandum submitted by the KU, KNSK and KSU,
which falls under the States prerogative would be looked into and for those under the Centre’s, the State government will work towards it’s fulfillment.
Representatives from Konyak Legislators, ENPO, Konyak Union, KNSK, ENSF, KSU, Village Council of Oting,Jakphang and Chi delivered speeches condemning the incident and the cruel and draconian provisions of AFSPA.
The service was chaired by Vice-President, KSU, Yuwang Konyak. The invocation was pronounced by Pastor KBCM, Rev. Nahngom and the last rites were performed by Executive Secretary, KBBB.