Oting Village Recounts Horror of Dec 4 Firing Incident

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HT Correspondent

 

DIMAPUR, Dec 9: Oting village in Mon district of Nagaland recounted the horror of December 4 firing by the security forces in which 13 innocent villagers were killed.

Revealing what took place at Longkhao and Yatong area of Oting village, the media cell of the Oting citizens’ office narrated that on that fateful evening at around 3.30 pm, one pick-up truck carrying eight coal miners were returning from a mining site. At around 4.30 pm, the security forces ambushed the pick-up truck without ascertaining anything about the occupants.

 “We thought they had a shootout with the insurgents,” the Oting villagers said.

After the firing, the security forces blocked the road for all vehicular and other movements from all sides, and diverted all the vehicles to take the less frequented Old Pioneer Road, they said.

The communiqué said the villagers were anxiously waiting for the pick-up truck to reach the village on learning that there was a shootout in the location where the pick-up truck went. The villagers informed the district administration about the shootout. By then it was around 7 pm, it said.

 “The villagers never assumed that their children had been massacred by the unprofessional, half-trained, psychopaths, cowards of Indian security forces,” the communiqué said.

At around 8 pm, the villagers went in search of the pick-up truck and the boys. To their astonishment, they found the empty pick-up truck with bullet marks in the windshield near the driver’s seat, bloodstains covered with dust and mud, and the boys missing from the vehicle, it said.

The communiqué said the windshield pierced by bullets clearly indicated that the security forces first shot at the driver to stop the pick-up truck and ambushed it point-blank.

Sensing that something fishy had happened, the villagers chased the three fleeing vehicles of Indian armed forces and intercepted them by overtaking them, it said.

The security forces first denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of the boys traveling by the pick-up truck. It was then the villagers started searching the vehicles and found the security forces personnel seated on top of the tarpaulin in the third vehicle that covered its whole floor, and under it, six half-dressed boys were lying dead. The security forces attempted to brand the boys as militants by planting weapons and dressing them in camouflage uniforms and boots, the communiqué said.

The villagers did not have any idea about the whereabouts of the other two boys at that point of time, making them assume that the security forces might have dumped them elsewhere. It was then the situation turned into a heated argument between the security forces and the villagers, resulting in physical scuffles between the two sides.

The communiqué said the security forces then started firing indiscriminately, killing and injuring a few. When the unarmed villagers tried to escape, they were given time to leave the spot, it said.

When the villagers were fleeing in their bikes, the security forces kept firing in different directions killing and injuring many others, it said. “They killed even those who were hiding under a machine,” the communiqué said.

Expressing strong condemnation of their ‘barbaric cowardice act’ and atrocities towards the innocent civilians, the Oting village challenged the Indian armed forces to come clean so as to deliver timely justice to the victims’ families.

The people of Oting also barred all groups and parties of various factions and the Indian armed forces from entering the Oting village jurisdiction, including Lower Tiru village, indefinitely. The people of Oting will not be held responsible in any manner for violation of this directive, the communiqué added.

They also appealed to the media houses not to be biased and twist the issue with misinterpretations.

The Oting village described the reports on the incident which were submitted in the Parliament as totally false and fabricated.

Saying that the statement made by a ‘prominent leader’ in the House is unwarranted and uncalled for, the Oting village appealed to all leaders not to mislead and misconstrue the factual incident without ascertaining the facts on the ground.

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