- At least 11 civilians have been gunned down by security forces in Nagaland’s Mon district
- Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio promised a high-level probe into the incident
- An investigation is underway to ascertain whether the incident was a case of mistaken identity
Nagaland civilians killing: At least 11 civilians were killed by the security forces in Nagaland’s Mon district on Sunday, police said, adding that it is investigating whether the incident was a case of mistaken identity.
The incident took place between Oting and Tiru villages on Saturday evening when the victims were returning home from a coal mine in a pick-up truck. They were daily wagers at the coal mine, the police officer said.
The exact number of fatalities, however, is yet to be ascertained as 11 people died on the spot, and several others succumbed to their injuries in hospitals in neighbouring Assam, a police officer said.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio promised a high-level probe into the incident and appealed to all sections of the society to maintain peace.
The vehicle was allegedly fired upon by Army personnel, 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), he said.
An investigation is underway to ascertain whether the incident was a case of mistaken identity, the officer said.
Mon shares a porous international border with Myanmar, where the Yung Aung faction of NSCN (K) is based. The situation is under control and police are conducting spot verification, he said.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio condemned the incident and assured that it will be investigated.
In a tweet, the chief minister said, “The unfortunate incident leading to killing of civilians at Oting, Mon is highly condemnable. Condolences to the bereaved families & speedy recovery of those injured. High level SIT will investigate & justice delivered as per the law of the land. Appeal for peace from all sections.”
Deputy Chief Minister Yanthungo Patton promised that 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.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed his condolences over the incident and said a high-level SIT constituted by the state government will thoroughly probe this incident “to ensure justice to the bereaved families”.
Though the Army is yet to issue a statement, Assam Rifles has denied its involvement in the incident.
(with PTI inputs)