A Court of Inquiry has been instituted against the army personnel “involved” in the major incident in Mon district of Nagaland wherein at least 13 native Naga mineworkers were killed perhaps due to ‘mistaken identity’.
A Special Investigation Team has been set up too headed by an IGP rank officer.
The major goof-up by security forces could work as a dampener in the peace process in the state, which officials have said were at the last stage.
Nagaland Governor Jagdish in a statement said, “The SIT shall investigate the incident from all angles”.
“A Court of Inquiry has been instituted against the army personnel involved”, he said.
“In order to facilitate free and fair investigation of the case and looking at the complexity of the entire case….,” an SIT has been set up, Chief Secretary J Alam said in an order.
The probe team will be headed by IGP Limasunep Jamir and comprise of DIG Ms. M. Roopa, and three other officials Manoj Kumar, Killang Walling, and Relo Aye.
DGP T John Longkumer has ruhed to the Mon district, sources told The Statesman.
The Congress party in the state in a statement has flayed the Rio government in the state and also the BJP.
Nagaland pradesh Congress chief K Therie said: “Because BJP-alliance State Government is hand in glove with the secessionists to be in power, Government of India and Security Forces have prejudged that all Nagas are enemies of the Nation. Such prejudiced mindset only could pull the trigger”.
The massacre of 13 innocent villagers is not only highhandedness by the 27 Assam Rifles but is also a “gross mishandling” of security forces by the BJP led NDA govt at the centre and the Nagaland government, he said.
Governor Mukhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who heads the NDPP-BJP-NPF ‘opposition-less government’, have condemned the incident.
Sources said 13 dead identified included some family members as well. “There were two brothers each from two families”.
Thapwang and Langwang were sons of one Leiwang while Yeihwang and Shomwang belonged to the family of another
ill-fated villager Chemwang.
There were 12 local Konyak Nagas and also one non-Naga identified as Bubul. Nine injured persons have been admitted to a district hospital on Mon.
Eyewitness account said at least six people were killed on the spot. The unfortunate incident could be a case of the ‘mistaken identity’ of the victims.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who was in Delhi rushed back to the state on Sunday (December 5) morning. He condemned the incident and urging for ‘peace from all sections’ assured justice.
“The unfortunate incident leading to the killing of civilians at Oting, Mon is highly condemnable,” he wrote in a tweet.
“Condolences to the bereaved families and speedy recovery of those injured. High-level SIT will investigate and justice delivered as per the law of the land. Appeal for peace from all sections,” the Chief Minister wrote on the microblogging site.
Rio had met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday.
“Anguished over an unfortunate incident in Nagaland’s Opting, Mon. I express my deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives,” Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.
Reports say the incident happened when the Oting villagers – coal mine workers – were returning from the coal mining area on their way to their village from Tiru by pick-up truck when the assault took place.
The situation in the area has been described as grievously tense as there are reports of civilians setting ablaze vehicles belonging to Assam Rifles.