Ground Report | New Delhi: What’s happening in Nagaland; Several civilians were reported to have been killed in action by security forces in the Oting area of Nagaland’s Mon district on Saturday night. Officially it has not yet been told how many people have died, but according to news agency PTI, at least 11 civilians have died.
In a statement on Sunday morning, the Assam Rifles said that “Based on credible intelligence inputs of possible movement of insurgents, a special operation was planned in the area of Tiru, Som district, Nagaland.” “Deeply regret the incident and its aftermath,” the statement said, without giving any details about the casualties or the units involved.
“The cause of the unfortunate deaths is being investigated by the Court of Inquiry at the highest level and appropriate action will be taken as per law,” the statement said. One soldier was also involved in the operation, who died.”
The Home Minister and the Chief Minister of the state have expressed grief over the incident by tweeting and asking to constitute a high-level inquiry committee. State Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has tweeted that the killing of common people in Oting in Mon district is very sad and he condemns it.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a tweet on Sunday promised justice to the families of those killed. “Saddened by an unfortunate incident in Oting, Som, Nagaland. I express my deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives. A high level SIT set up by the state government will thoroughly investigate the incident to ensure justice to the bereaved families,” Shah tweeted. The Assam Rifles comes under the purview of the Union Home Ministry.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has also condemned the incident. “Unfortunate incident for killing civilians in Oting, Mon is highly condemnable. Condolences to the bereaved families and speedy recovery of the injured. High-level SIT will investigate and deliver justice as per the law of the land. Appeal to all sections of the society for peace, He tweeted.
A local police officer said the soldiers kept waiting for members of the banned National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang-Yung Aung) but opened fire on the pickup van. The incident sparked outrage among the locals and they attacked the soldiers and set two of their vehicles on fire. (What’s happening in Nagaland)
An Army official said the movement of NSCN (K-YA) cadres in a specific color and type of vehicle had specific inputs, following which the area was cordoned off. But citizens came in a similar vehicle and “did not cooperate” when asked to stop.
The soldiers spontaneously opened fire on the vehicle. “Six civilians were killed and two were injured,” he said.
As the jawans waited for the police to arrive, the locals gathered and attacked them. The officer claimed that one soldier was killed and three others were injured in the firing by the mob. He said seven civilians were killed in the firing of soldiers in self-defence.