Nagaland: Public outrage breaks out after army guns down civilians

After at least 13 civilians were gunned down by security forces in Nagaland’s Mon district on Saturday, locals have retaliated with violent protests in parts of the state.

A video, reportedly from Mon, has emerged where a structure can be seen on fire, and a large number of people can be seen making an attempt to escape from its premises, to save their lives.

Expressing their anger over the same, locals have attacked an Assam Rifles (paramilitary) camp in Mon district of the state. In the video from the site, locals can be seen destroying property at the camp.

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Although there is no confirmation, it has been speculated that locals in Nagaland’s Tuensang town have allegedly resorted to arson to protest against the killings of the civilians in the alleged case of mistaken identity by the armed forces.

Police on Sunday, said that it is investigating whether the incident was a case of mistaken identity.

Ordering a court of inquiry into the incident, Army said that one of its personnel was killed and several others were seriously injured. It said that the incident and its aftermath is “deeply regretted” and the unfortunate loss of lives is being investigated at the highest level.

The exact number of fatalities, however, is yet to be ascertained as 11 people died on the spot, and several others succumbed to their injuries in hospitals in neighbouring Assam, a police officer said.

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio promised a high-level probe into the incident and appealed to all sections of the society to maintain peace.

The incident took place between Oting and Tiru villages when some daily-wage labourers were returning home in a pick-up van from a coal mine on Saturday evening, the police officer said.

The vehicle was allegedly fired upon by Army personnel, who were conducting an operation in the area after receiving inputs on the movement of militants of Yung Aung faction of proscribed outfit NSCN (K), he said.

“An investigation is underway to ascertain whether the incident was a case of mistaken identity. The situation is under control and police is conducting spot verification,” the officer added.

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