‘Return my child’s father’: Nagaland killings victim’s pregnant wife asks Army

A day after Indian forces shot and killed 13 labourers in Nagaland’s Mon district, the Assam Rifles army unit killed another civilian following angry villagers surrounded the army camp and protested the cold-blood murder of civilians.

The deceased is Leiong Konyak, a resident of Chi Village in Mon and husband of thirty-year-old Eli Konyak who is five months pregnant and expecting her first child.

The duo were eagerly waiting for their newborn.

“When I give birth, who will my child call its father? I only want that my husband is returned. My heart is broken,” Eli said while speaking to EastMojo, a news website from northeast India.

“For what reason did the Army kill civilians? Did my husband retaliate against the Army? Was he using a machete or gun?” asks Eli.

“The Army should be taken out of Nagaland,” Eli reiterated the demand of her villagers and tribe members. Last day, Konyak Union, the influential tribal body in Nagaland said that the Assam Rifles must immediately vacate Mon district on moral ground for failing to provide security to its citizens.

Recalling the tragic day, Eli said to the news website her husband went out on Sunday to the helipad in Mon where hundreds from the Konyak tribe had gathered to mourn the death of the 13 civilians. Later in the day, Leiong went out to protest against the killings but never returned home.

“I could not even think properly…as to how to tell my mother and sister-in-law about this. I could not imagine what their condition would be. I cried when I heard the news about him. I could not even rush to the hospital at that moment because the situation was very tense and I was in the village. Eventually, after a few hours, we were able to see him,” said Chingkap, Leiong’s younger brother who was the first one to receive the news of his brother’s death.

Family members of Leiong also said to EastMojo that they do not consider the compensation announcements of the state and Union governments as justice.

“Money is not important, and whatever the government pays will go away. Any kind of justice is not going to bring back my brother and the others who were killed,” Chingkap said.

Chingkap also demanded the repeal of draconian AFSPA, the law which gives armed forces deployed in internal conflicts broad powers to use lethal force and provides soldiers with effective immunity from prosecution.

Following the killings, the chief ministers of Nagaland and neighboring Meghalaya state, both allied to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government, called for the repeal of AFSPA, as did opposition politicians, human rights activists, and affected residents.


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