The 21 Para Special Force “blankly opened fire” on civilians in Nagaland’s Mon district, the state police alleged in its suo motu first information report filed against the Indian Army unit on Sunday, NDTV reported.
The FIR was filed after 14 civilians were killed in separate incidents of firing by the security forces on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday evening, the security forces mistakenly opened fire at a pick-up van carrying coal miners from the Tiru area to their village Oting in Mon district, killing six on board. They mistook the group of workers for insurgents.
After the ambush, local residents set vehicles of the security forces on fire. As the soldiers fled, they shot dead more civilians, alleged Nyawang Konyak, the president of the Mon district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In the ensuing chaos, seven more civilians and one soldier died.
The violence spilled over into Sunday afternoon after locals entered a camp of the Assam Rifles to protest against Saturday’s killing. At least one more person was killed after security forces fired back at protestors.
In its FIR, the Nagaland Police alleged that the “intention” of security forces was to “murder and injure civilians”.
The FIR, filed by the officer in-charge of Tizit police station, Ubi Posehu Kezo, added: “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.”
Meanwhile, the Nagaland government on Sunday formed a Special Investigation Team to look into the killing of 14 civilians, the state home department said in statement.
The team comprises Inspector General of Police Limasunep Jamir, Director General of Police Roopa M, Superintendent of Police (crime) Manoj Kumar, Superintendent of Police Kilang Walling and Deputy Commandant Relo Aye.
“In order to facilitate free and fair investigation of the case and looking at the complexity of the case, which may involve investigation in multiple jurisdictions beyond the district, it has been decided to transfer the investigation of the matter to the State Crime Police Station,” the order stated.
The Nagaland Home Department also said that a first information report under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (punishment for murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (common intention) had been filed.
Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Secretary J Alam announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the 14 civilians who were killed in the firing on Saturday, PTI reported. The government will also bear the cost of the injured civilians’ medical treatment.
Congress leaders to visit Nagaland
Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday constituted a four-member delegation to visit Nagaland and report about the developments related to the killing of the 14 civilians within a week.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress on Monday said that it will not send its delegation to Nagaland’s as announced earlier due to the prohibitory orders in force in Mon district, PTI reported.
Trinamool Congress leader Sushmita Dev referred to the Centre’s decision to increase the Border Security Force’s jurisdiction and said the killings in Nagaland during the anti-insurgency operation show how things can “go wrong” if the Union government intervenes in the state’s matters.
She said Union Home Minister Amit Shah has “completely failed to provide security to the citizens of this country” and demanded that he immediately convene a meeting of chief ministers of the North Eastern states.