Indian gov't denies permission to prosecute 30 troopers over deadly shooting

(Xinhua) 12:11, April 15, 2023

NEW DELHI, April 14 (Xinhua) -- The Indian government has denied permission to prosecute 30 troopers allegedly involved in a botched counter-insurgency operation in the northeastern state of Nagaland in December 2021, in which 14 young men were killed, local media reported Friday.

"The competent authority (department of military affairs, ministry of defense, government of India) has conveyed its denial to accord sanction for prosecution against all 30 accused," local TV news channel NDTV quoted a statement from the police in Nagaland as saying.

The troopers of the Indian army were named in a charge sheet filed by the Special Investigation Team of police that investigated the firing incident in Nagaland's Mon district.

Police said it has conveyed the defense ministry's denial of sanction to a local court.

On Dec. 4, 2021, six local coal miners in the state's Mon district were killed by Indian army troopers after opening fire at a pickup truck. The shooting triggered violence in which more deaths took place.

A total of 14 civilians and one trooper were killed in the overall violence.

The then Indian army chief General M. M. Naravane had said "appropriate action" will be taken against troops involved in the killings of 14 civilians.

Following the killings, the Indian army also ordered an internal inquiry.

The killings generated a massive backlash against the Indian army and triggered a demand for the withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from Nagaland.

The AFSPA gives extraordinary powers to the troops such as shooting a person on mere suspicion.

The Indian government's legal sanction is required for initiating any action against troopers for their actions while discharging duties under various laws, including the AFSPA.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Wu Chaolan)


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