Indian Army 'regrets' Nagaland civilians' deaths, assures high-level probe
New Delhi/IBNS: The Indian Army on Sunday regretted the "unfortunate loss of lives" in a security operation that left at least 13 civilians reportedly killed in suspicion of them being banned NSCN (K) militants in Nagaland’s Mon district.
The army assured that the matter will be investigated at the "highest level".
"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 in a statement.
"The security forces have suffered severe injuries in the incident including one soldier who succumbed to the injuries," it added.
According to the reports, the incident took place at Tiru village area in Mon district when the victims hailing from Oting village under Longkhao area of Tizit sub-division, were returning home in a pick-up mini truck.
Local sources said that the incident happened at around 4 pm on Saturday and when the victims didn’t return home even several hours after the usual time, the volunteers of the village went out to search for them.
When the volunteers had found the dead bodies in a pick-up truck the angry villagers set two vehicles belonging to the security forces on fire.
Konyak tribe leaders of Mon district claimed that six persons died on spot and later seven others succumbed to their injuries.
Earlier, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio condemned the incident and announced a probe.
He said that a high level SIT will investigate the incident.
Neiphiu Rio tweeted: “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.”
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
Meanwhile, the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) decided to withdraw from the annual Hornbill Festival which is ongoing at Kisama near Kohima.
On the other hand, security forces said that one jawan also succumbed to his injuries.