MON: Responding to a call by Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) to observe December 4 and 5 as 'Black Day' in the eastern districts of Nagaland, many houses hoisted black flags on the second day today, even as student organisations organised prayer services across the state to mark one year of the Oting firing incident by the Indian Army, which left as many as 14 civilians dead.
As a tribute to those killed at Oting village in Mon district on December 4 last year, a music video by Konyak tribe singers and bands was also released. All the 14 victims killed in the firing incident belonged to the Konyak tribe, one of the many tribes that inhabit the state of Nagaland, in the Northeastern region of India.
On that fateful day, on December 4 last year, six coal miners returning from work were allegedly killed by mistake in a botched army operation, while seven more villagers were gunned down when angry residents of Oting village engaged in a scuffle with the army personnel on discovering the bullet-riddled bodies of the labourers, who also belonged to their village. The next day, another villager was killed when an irate mob attacked an Assam Rifles camp at nearby Mon town.
One year on, in remembrance of those killed at Oting, the Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) president R Tsapikiu Sangtam had announced that they will observe December 4 and 5 as 'Black Day' in the entire eastern part of the state. All households in the six eastern districts of state, namely Mon, Tuensang, Longleng, Kiphire, Noklak and Shamator, will hoist black flags on these two days, he had said.
An official belonging to the Konyak Students' Union confirmed that the households in Mon district have hoisted black flags, while its parent body Konyak Union has planned to hold a prayer service on Monday in Mon town, the district headquarters.
Naga Students Federation (NSF) units flew the organisation flag at half- mast on the 1st anniversary of the tragic incident in Oting. A black flag was also hoisted alongside the NSF flag, signifying non-cooperation with the security forces till the day the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA is repealed in the state.
On Sunday, NSF also held a solemn ceremony to pay homage to those who were killed by the army at Oting a year back. NSF President Kegwayhun Tep also delivered a brief address on the occasion, in which he reaffirmed the non-cooperation extended towards the armed forces by the students' organisation.