Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that Centre has been keeping a close watch on the evolving situation in Nagaland and necessary measures are being taken to ensure peace and tranquility in Mon district, following the widespread violence after a “mistaken” army raid, leaving 14 civilians and one soldier dead, while the state authorities, as precautionary measures, have promulgated prohibitory orders in the affected areas.
Making a statement in the Rajya Sabha on the incident, Shah informed the house that an FIR was registered regarding the incident in Tizit police station and considering the complexity of the case, it has been transferred to the State Crime Police Station (SCPS) and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted and directed to complete the investigation within one month.
Noting that the situation on the ground is still critical but under control, he further said that on receipt of the incident, he immediately got in touch with the Governor and the Chief Minister.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs also got in touch with the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police of Nagaland and monitored the situation throughout the day yesterday (Sunday). MHA also deputed Additional Secretary, in-charge of North East to Kohima wherein he held a meeting with Chief Secretary and other senior officers of State Government of Nagaland and senior officers of the ParaMilitary Forces today (Monday) morning,” he said.
The situation was reviewed in detail to ensure that normalcy is restored at the earliest. It was decided that all agencies should ensure that no such unfortunate incident recurs in future while undertaking operations against insurgents, he added.
“The Government of India sincerely regrets this unfortunate incident in Nagaland and expresses its deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives,” the Minister also said in his statement.
Narrating the incident that happened on December 4, Shah said that based on inputs received by the Indian Army about movement of the insurgents near Tiru village in Tizit area of Mon district, a team of 21 para-commandos said an ambush in the evening.
During the ambush, a vehicle approached the location and it was signalled to stop. However, the vehicle tried to flee, following which the vehicle, suspected of carrying insurgents, was fired upon resulting in the killing of six out of eight persons travelling in the vehicle. However, it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, the Home Minister stated.
The two persons who sustained injuries were evacuated to the medical facilities by the Army personnel, he added.
Following the firing incident, the local villagers surrounded the Army team, burnt two vehicles, and assaulted them resulting in death of one security force personnel and injuries to several others.
“To disperse the crowd, SFs opened fire which resulted in killing of seven more civilians and injuring some others. The local administration and police have tried to defuse the situation, which remains tense but under control,” Shah added.
Nagaland Director General of Police and Commissioner, Nagaland visited the spot on December 5, 2021 and reviewed the situation on the ground.
The Minister also informed that subsequently in the evening of December 5, a mob of approximately 250 tried to ransack the Company Operating Base (CoB) of the Assam Rifles at Mon town. The mob burnt buildings of the base following which troops had to open fire to disperse the mob. Resultantly, one civilian was killed while another was injured. More forces have been deployed in the area to prevent any further untoward incident, he added.
The headquarters of the Army’s 3 Corps has also released a press statement wherein they have deeply regretted the incident and its aftermath which resulted in the unfortunate killing of innocent civilians and it further mentioned that the cause of the unfortunate loss of lives is being investigated at the highest level and appropriate action will be taken as per law.