Army did not identify civilians, tried to 'hide' the dead bodies
Nagaland incident revealed in report
The army did not make any effort to identify the occupants of a pickup truck in Nagaland's Mon district before it opened fire on Saturday. State Director General of Police (DGP) T John Longkumer and Commissioner Rovilatuo Mor said this in a joint report. The two top officials, quoting eyewitnesses, said villagers found that Army Special Forces were trying to "hide" the bodies of six people by wrapping them in a pickup van with the intention of taking them to their base camp.
The report submitted to the state government on Sunday said, "Around 4:10 pm on December 4, eight villagers were returning home in a pickup truck from a coal mine in Tiru, they were suddenly attacked by security forces (allegedly). But, the 21st Para Special Forces based in Assam ambushed and killed him. In fact, no attempt was made to identify him.
Officials said all the villagers were unarmed and worked in the coal mines. Six of them died on the spot and two were seriously injured. Officials said in the report that the villagers reached the spot after hearing the sound of bullets. "On reaching the spot, they saw a pickup truck and Special Forces personnel wrapping six bodies and loading them into the truck (Tata Mobiles), apparently with the intention of taking the bodies to their base camp .'
Violent clashes broke out between villagers and security forces after seeing the bodies wrapped in tarpaulins, the report said. Angry people torched three vehicles of the security forces. "In the commotion, the security forces again opened fire on the villagers, killing seven more villagers," he said. Eyewitnesses have confirmed that the Special Forces personnel, fleeing from the spot towards Assam, opened fire indiscriminately and even fired at coal mine huts on the way.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday described the incident in Parliament as a "case of mistaken identity". He had said, "The Government of India deeply regrets the incident in Nagaland and expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the deceased." On Saturday, 14 people were killed and several others were injured in the firing in Nagaland. It is worth mentioning that Army personnel on Saturday evening mistook the coal mine workers returning home in a pick-up van, allegedly belonging to the Yung Aung faction of the banned outfit NSCN(K), and opened fire.