Nagaland civilian deaths: What we know so far | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Nagaland civilian deaths: What we know so far

By | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi
Dec 05, 2021 11:32 AM IST

The Indian Army said the incident in Mon district of Nagaland and its aftermath are "deeply regretted" and the loss of lives is being investigated at the highest level.

Several civilians were mistakenly killed by security forces during an anti-insurgency operation in the Mon district of Nagaland, along with the porous international border with Myanmar, officials said on Sunday.

The Indian Army said one of its personnel was killed and several others were injured in the incident in Mon in Nagaland. (HT File Photo/Representative Image)
The Indian Army said one of its personnel was killed and several others were injured in the incident in Mon in Nagaland. (HT File Photo/Representative Image)

The Indian Army said one of its personnel was killed and several others were injured in the incident, which took place between Oting and Tiru villages in Nagaland. The army, according to news agency PTI, said the incident and its aftermath are "deeply regretted" and the loss of lives is being investigated at the highest level.

What happened in Nagaland?

PTI cited a local police official in Nagaland as saying the exact number of fatalities is yet to be ascertained as 11 people died on the spot and several others succumbed to their injuries in hospitals in the neighbouring state of Assam.

Also watch | Mistaken identity? Probe ordered after forces firing kills civilians during an anti-terror op in Nagaland

According to the police official cited by PTI, the incident took place when some daily-wage labourers were returning home in a vehicle from a coal mine on Saturday evening.

Also read | Civilian killing in Nagaland unfortunate, says CM; ‘Anguished’, tweets Amit Shah

Their pick-up van was allegedly fired upon by personnel of the Indian Army, who were conducting an operation in the area after receiving inputs on the movement of militants of Yung Aung faction of proscribed outfit NSCN(K), the official told PTI.

Also read | Nagaland civilian deaths: Army regrets loss of lives, court of inquiry ordered

An army officer told the Associated Press the soldiers had laid an ambush for a week following intelligence that insurgents were planning to attack them in the area.

An investigation is underway to ascertain whether the incident was a case of mistaken identity, the officer said, adding the situation is under control and they are conducting spot verification.

The Associated Press reported angry villagers burned army vehicles in protest after the incident. It reported citing an army officer as saying as irate villagers burned two army vehicles, the soldiers fired at them, killing seven more people.

What has the army said about the Nagaland incident?

A statement issued by the headquarters of the army's 3 Corps said several of its personnel have suffered severe injuries in the incident and one soldier succumbed to the injuries.

"Based on credible intelligence of likely movement of insurgents, a specific operation was planned to be conducted in the area of Tiru, Mon District, Nagaland. The incident and its aftermath are deeply regretted. The cause of the unfortunate loss of lives is being investigated at the highest level and appropriate action will be taken as per the course of law," the statement said, according to PTI.

What did Shah, Nagaland CM say after the incident?

Union home minister Amit Shah said he was "anguished" at the “unfortunate incident” in Nagaland.

“Anguished over an unfortunate incident in Nagaland’s Oting, Mon. I express my deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives,” Shah said in a tweet. “A high-level SIT constituted by the State govt will thoroughly probe this incident to ensure justice to the bereaved families,” he also said.

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio condemned the incident and promised a high-level probe as he appealed to all sections of the society to maintain peace.

"The unfortunate incident leading to killing of civilians at Oting, Mon is highly condemnable. Condolences to the bereaved families & speedy recovery of those injured,” the chief minister tweeted.

“High level SIT will investigate & justice delivered as per the law of the land. Appeal for peace from all sections," he also tweeted.

Nagaland’s deputy chief minister Yanthungo Patton also said justice will be delivered.

"Oting's (Mon) disturbing and tragic incident in which civilians were killed will be thoroughly investigated and justice will be served. Condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. In the wake of the tragedy, I urge peace from everyone!" he tweeted.

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