Kohima: Army Chief General MM Naravane has stated that an appropriate action will be taken against the troops involved in the Nagaland Killings. In the operation which went horrifyingly wrong,14 civilians were killed.
"Appropriate and corrective action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation," General Naravane said during his annual press conference.
The General called the incident - which occurred in the northeastern state's Mon district, and in which one soldier was also killed - "regrettable".
Notably, the Army had owned responsibility for the killings of civilians in a statement on December 5, 2021. "Based on credible intelligence of likely movement of insurgents, a specific operation was planned to be conducted in the area of Tiru, Mon district, Nagaland… The incident and its aftermath are 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," Nagaland's Dimapur-based 3 Corps said in a statement.
Thirteen of the 14 people killed by army personnel on December 4 and 5 belonged to the Konyak tribe, one of the major tribes of Nagaland. They were killed in three consecutive episodes of firing by security forces, the first of which has been claimed to be a case of mistaken identity.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had told the Lok Sabha that the army had received information on the movement of insurgents in Mon and '21 Para Commando' unit had laid an ambush. "A vehicle was signalled to stop but it tried to speed away. Suspecting the presence of insurgents in the vehicle, the security personnel opened fire, leading to the death of six of its eight occupants," Shah said.
Regretting the death of the civilians, he had said security forces fired in self-defence. Eight others, including an army man, were killed in subsequent clashes between the force and villagers. Several political parties have contested the government version that the vehicle was asked to stop.