Arunachal Christians mourn the death of civilians in Nagaland

Miao, 8 December 2021: A humble village in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh organised a condolence prayer service for the Nagaland civilians killed in army firing on 8 December 2021.

Youth, elders, women and children of Neotan, a Tangsa tribal village, in Arunachal Pradesh, came together to express their condolence and to pray for the departed souls of the 14 innocent civilians killed in Oting village of Mon district in Nagaland.

Leading the condolence prayer service, Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao diocese said, “We are very saddened to know about the death of civilians in Mon district.”

 Six civilians, workers in a coal mine, were killed in an ambush by security forces in an area between Tiru and Oring village in Nagaland’s Mon district while returning home in a vehicle on Saturday, 4 November. The incident triggered violence in the area in which eight more civilians were killed after security forces opened fire.

“Death of innocent people is always very sorrowful. We offer our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the families of the departed and we pray that the Almighty God blesses them with eternal rest”, Bishop Pallipparambil said in his condolence message.

The prayer service was conducted by the villagers as part of the concluding event of the Year of St. Joseph and the feast of the Immaculate Conception the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The village Catechist, Chomjung Mossang, expressed deep sorrow at the loss of lives of civilians. “Most of them are very young with a promising life ahead of them. Some of them leave behind very young children and one of them got married less than a week ago. Words fail me to express my grief”, he said at the prayer service.

The condolence prayer service, which began from the Mother Mary Grotto in the village, was attended by people from all faith background.

Attending the prayer service, Korong Longri, President of the Tangsa Women Welfare Society of Arunachal Pradesh, said, “Killing innocent civilians and trying to wash off your hands is totally unacceptable. Such mindless killing of innocent people by the security forces has been happening across North East India for the last many years. Such incidents should not happen to anywhere and to anyone.”

Holding placard appealing for peace, the villagers concluded the prayer service by planting candles on the junction connecting to the village Church.

The botched-up ambush has cut short the lives of young people. They will never come back but the memories of their death is going to haunt us for ever, said Tumen Mossang, a village elder at the conclusion of the prayer service.