New Delhi: BBC reports mounting Tensions in the restive north-eastern Indian state of Nagaland following the killing of 14 civilians by Indian soldiers.
Authorities in India have shut down internet services and imposed a curfew to quell mass protests.
The violence started on Saturday when an Indian army patrol in Mon district shot and killed a group of laborers and claimed to mistake them for militants.
The Indian Army has called it a “case of mistaken identity,” but locals rejected the claim. And it is not the first time Indian security forces have been accused of targeting innocent citizens in their operations.
The Army insists the incident was a “case of mistaken identity.” Experts say “mistaken identity” does raise questions about counter-insurgency operations.
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Sanjoy Hazarika, a writer and commentator on northeast India blamed “the protection given to the Indian forces” under AFSPA; India’s special powers act as the “major obstacle to justice” in Nagaland.
AFSPA is a controversial law that gives the security forces search and seizure powers. It protects soldiers who kill civilians by mistake or in unavoidable circumstances during an operation. However, the campaigners say the “fake killings” law is often misused.
Nagaland is home to the oldest ethnic rebellion in India and dates back to the 1950s. The armed movement demands an ethnic homeland. This sovereign territory includes Nagaland and all Naga-habited areas of the neighboring states of Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Myanmar.
Some say the Indian soldiers were desperate to hit back to avenge one of their commanders, killed last month.