Nagaland civilian killings: Para Special Forces behind botched operation?
Sources in the Nagaland Police said that the operation was carried out by the Para SF and not by Assam Rifles.
It was a Para Special Forces unit of the Indian Army that was called in from Assam to Nagaland for an operation against National Socialist Council of Nagalim (KYA) insurgents, wherein 13 civilians and one soldier lost their lives in the Mon district on Saturday night. Sources in the Nagaland Police said that the operation was carried out by the Para SF and not by Assam Rifles.
The state government has registered a case under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder). In order to facilitate a free and fair probe, the Nagaland government has formed a five-member Special Investigation Team under Inspector General of Police Limasunep Jamir. The committee will have to submit the report within one month from the date of registration of the case. Besides the IG, DIG Roopa M, SP (Crime) Manoj Kumar, Kilang Walling and Relo Aye are the other members of the committee.
In the wake of the deteriorating law and order situation in the northeastern state, the government has imposed prohibitory order under section 144 of CrPC in Mon town. Internet services have been suspended in the area while additional forces have been deployed to maintain the law and order situations. The locals took out a candle march in parts of the state, demanding stern action against those who were involved in the firing incidents.
Insurgent groups like NSCN issued a statement and termed the incident as 'unprecedented in recent history. Earlier in the day, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who was in Delhi to discuss several developmental projects with the Union government, rushed back to Kohima.
A total of 14 people were killed, including a soldier in Oting area. The security forces had intelligence input about the presence of the insurgents in the area and could plan something like a Manipur ambush. The security force planned its strategy to ambush them. They also had specific inputs about the colour of the vehicles. According to reports, the security personnel asked them to stop, but they did not stop following which the former opened fire.
In the firing, six suspects were killed. Later, it was discovered that they were civilians. The locals gathered at the site of the incident and attacked the security forces. In retaliation, another eight civilians were killed while some got injured. The locals also torched the security force’s vehicles. They even tried to snatch the weapons.
The Indian Army has expressed regret over the incident and assured that appropriate action will be taken. Indian Army’s 3 Corps in a statement said that the incident was regrettable and that the cause of the loss of lives is being investigated at the highest level. The Army assured that appropriate action will be taken as per law. Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed his anguish at the loss of lives and expressed his condolences to the families of those who had lost their lives. Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio appealed for peace from all and instituted a high-level probe into the matter.