Guwahati, Nov 26 (IANS) In a case of mistaken identity, the army killed two civilians during a counter-insurgency operation in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district, a defence spokesperson said on Thursday.
The incident occurred on Wednesday night in Kharkutta area “primarily due to non-adherence of existing security instructions by the concerned civilians”, defence ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Suneet Newton said here.
“The army had launched a counter-insurgency operation in the area. There was information that two cadres of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) are moving in the area.
“Following this, troops carried out an area domination patrol there. A mobile vehicle check post was also set up on the road between Kharkutta to Khilor,” he said.
“Two motorcycle-borne youths came around 8.40 p.m. When signalled to stop, they accelerated their motorcycle and tried to escape.
“Due to the huge back blast and flash which came out of the silencer and due to the prevailing pitch darkness, it seemed that the motorcyclists had opened fire. The troops fired in retaliation, hitting the youths killing them instantly,” the spokesperson said.
A probe has been ordered by the army into the incident.
The Garo Hills region is a hotbed of militancy. According to official statistics, 87 people have been abducted by militants for ransom till October this year.
–Indo-Asian news Service