Thirteen villagers and a soldier were killed at an Indo-Myanmar border district in Nagaland on Sunday as a counter-insurgency operation went horribly off script. One more villager died in the clashes that followed.
“It is to be noted that at the time of incident there was no police guide nor security forces did make requisition to police station to provide police guide for their operation. Hence it is obvious that the intention of security forces is to murder and injure civilians,” read a copy of the FIR by the state police that has been accessed by NDTV.
“At around 1530 hours, coal mine labourers of Oting village were returning to their native village Oting from Tiru in a vehicle Bolero pick up. On reaching at Longkhao between Upper Tiru and Oting village, security forces blankly opened fire at the vehicle without any provocation resulting to the killing of many Oting villagers and seriously injuring many others (sic),” the FIR added.
The Army, in a statement yesterday, had deeply regretted the “unfortunate loss of lives” in a security operation that went awry, adding that the matter will be investigated at the “highest level”.
Acting on a tip off on likely movement of insurgents, the Army said it had planned an ambush on the Tiru-Oting road.
“The incident and its aftermath is 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 Army said.
Public gathering of more than five people at a time has been banned in the Mon district, and movement of all vehicles of non-essential nature, including commercial vehicles, has been prohibited under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code(CrPc).
The Mon area is the stronghold of Naga group NSCN(K) and even ULFA and the incident comes during the state’s signature “Hornbill festival”.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio condoled the loss of lives and appealed for calm, adding a special investigating team will probe the matter.
With inputs from NDTV