Nagaland Cabinet on Tuesday decided to call off the ongoing annual Hornbill Festival in solidarity with the killing of civilians in the Mon district.
Earlier on Sunday, six tribes under Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) and a few other tribes decided to refrain from participating in the cultural programmes expressing anger over the killing of civilians in Oting village.
The apex body of the Konyak, Konyak Union, to which the slain civilians belonged, had also withdrawn from the festival.
Following this, almost all the tribal bodies decided not to take part in the festival till further notice.
The Hornbill festival is an annual ten-day extravaganza in which different tribes of the state showcase their traditions. The festival began on December 1.
The festival is being held across four districts with major events such as the Hornbill Music Festival, Nagaland Literature Festival, and Nagaland Film Festival, mountain biking, and the Hornbill Bamboo Festival.
At least 14 civilians, said to be workers in a coal mine, were killed in an ambush by security forces in an area between Tiru and Oting village in Nagaland’s Mon district while returning home in a vehicle Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet also decided to repeal the Arms Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the State and make strong recommendations to the Centre.
On Monday, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had asked the Centre to withdraw the AFSPA, 1958 from his State. He said that this act has "blackened" the image of the country.