Thirteen civilians were killed when the 21 Para Special forces of Army “blankly opened fire" on Oting villagers in Nagaland’s Mon district, the state police has alleged in its suo motu FIR against the Army unit, alleging that the “intention" of security forces was to “murder and injure civilians".
On Saturday, 13 villagers and a soldier were killed at an Indo-Myanmar border district when a counter-insurgency operation went awry. A day later, another civilian was killed in firing by the Assam Rifles when an irate mob stormed into their camp in Mon town and set a part of their camp on fire.
“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 said.
“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," it added.
The Army, in a statement yesterday, had expressed deep regrets over 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).