Source: Indian Defence Review
The media is agog with the recent incident of killings in Nagaland. The Union Home Minister has made a statement in Parliament, highlights of which include the following:
• Based on inputs received by the Indian Army, about movement of the insurgents near Tiru village in Tizit area (Mon district), an ambush was laid on the evening of December 4 by 21 PARA (SF).
• A vehicle approaching the site was signaled to stop but it tried to flee. Suspected of carrying insurgents, the vehicle was fired upon resulting in the killing of six out of eight persons in the vehicle. However, it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. The two injured persons were evacuated by Army personnel to medical facilities.
• Thereafter, local villagers surrounded the Army team, burnt two vehicles and assaulted them resulting in death of one Security Force (SF) personnel and injuries to several others.
• To disperse the crowd, SFs opened fire which resulted in killing of seven more civilians and injuring some others.
• FIR was registered in Tizit Police Station and the case has been transferred to the State Crime Police Station (SCPS) and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted.
• On the evening of December 5, a mob of approximately 250 tried to ransack the Company Operating Base (CoB) of Assam Rifles in Mon town. The mob burnt buildings of the CoB following which troops had to open fire to disperse the mob. Resultantly, one civilian was killed while another was injured.
• HQ 3 Corps, Army has deeply regretted the incident which resulted in the unfortunate killing of innocent civilians and has said that the cause is being investigated at the highest level and appropriate action will be taken as per law.
• The Home Minister took immediate measures as required and the Government is keeping a close watch on the evolving situation. The state authorities have promulgated prohibitory orders in the affected areas.
• Government sincerely regrets this unfortunate incident and expresses deepest condolences to the affected families.
• According to media reports, the FIR alleges that 21 PARA (SF) “blankly opened fire” resulting in the killing of many Oting villagers and also that the “intention” of security forces was to “murder and injure civilians.”
• Rovilatuo Mor, IAS, Commissioner, Nagaland and T John Longkurmer, IPS, DG Police Nagaland, in a signed joint statement on December 5, accused 21 PARA (SF) of killing unarmed civilians at random without any attempt for identification. They further say when villagers (number not mentioned) came to the spot, the Special Forces personnel again opened indiscriminate firing killing seven more villagers before fleeing from the scene and that two of the seriously injured civilians were taken to Assam side by the Security forces themselves and are admitted in the ICU at Dibrugarh Hospital.
An excerpt from the Article written by Lt. Gen. Prakash Katoch, Retd. Published by Indian Defence Review (IDR)