New Delhi: A group of civilians travelling in a mini truck were allegedly killed by security forces on near Mon in Nagaland on Saturday night (December 4).
The number of civilians killed remains unclear. As per reports, the number is estimated to be six, but a police source put it at 11.
The police, although, said the exact number of fatalities was yet to be ascertained as 11 people died on the spot, and several others succumbed to their injuries in hospitals in neighbouring Assam.
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
— Neiphiu Rio (@Neiphiu_Rio) December 5, 2021
The incident took place between Oting and Tiru villages when some daily-wage labourers were returning home in a pick-up van from a coal mine on Saturday evening, the police said.
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), as per reports from a news agency.
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.
Security forces, meanwhile, said it was a case of mistaken identity as the forces were sitting in an ambush when the truck arrived on the scene. Either the truck was caught in the crossfire between forces and insurgents or the truck was mistaken to be the vehicle carrying the insurgents, sources said. Both angles are being investigated.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also tweeted about the incident.
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. A high-level SIT constituted by the State govt will thoroughly probe this incident to ensure justice to the bereaved families.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) December 5, 2021
"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. A high-level SIT constituted by the State govt will thoroughly probe this incident to ensure justice to the bereaved families," Amit Shah's tweet said.
Army regrets killings, assures appropriate action
Expressing regret, the Army on Sunday said that the incident of Nagaland killings was being investigated at the highest level and assured that appropriate action would be taken as per the course of law.
Terming the incident as "unfortunate" the Army said, "the incident and its aftermath was deeply regretted."
The Army informed that a specific operation was planned in the area of Tiru in Mon district of Nagaland on Saturday. The operation was based on credible intelligence of the likely movement of insurgents in the area. The security forces have suffered severe injuries in the incident, including one soldier, who succumbed to the injuries," the Army said in an official statement.
Earlier, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio ordered a high-level probe into the reported killings of civilians by security forces in Oting village in Mon district of the state.
-PTC News with agency inputs