The Nagaland Government today called off the Hornbill Festival. It is one of the popular annual events that showcase the cultural colours of the State.
Government spokesperson Neiba Kronu said the festival has now been officially cancelled in solidarity with the bereaved families.
This comes after at least 14 civilians were gunned down in a botched ambush by a special commando unit of the Army.
This further led to subsequent clashes with locals on the night of December 4.
Also, the entrepreneurial activities would continue at the Kisama Heritage Village. This is the venue of the festival near Kohima.
As per the State’s Tourism Department, a short and solemn ceremony would be organised to conclude the festival that began on December 1 to mark the day Nagaland attained Statehood in 1963.
The Hornbill Festival usually lasts 10 days. The state government has decided to write to the Centre seeking the repeal of AFSPA.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed regret over the incident in Nagaland.
Informing the Parliament today, he said that a team of 21 para-commandos of the Indian Army laid an ambush for insurgents in Mon district on December 4 evening but it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.
He said that a Special Investigation Team has been constituted to look into the matter. The Government is also keeping a close watch on the current situation in the state.
Mr Shah further added, “the situation was reviewed in detail to ensure that normalcy is restored at the earliest. It was decided that all agencies should ensure that no such unfortunate incident recurs in future while undertaking operations against insurgents.”