Deeply regret loss of lives in Nagaland: Army

Army said required details are being shared in a timely manner

December 26, 2021 10:50 pm | Updated 11:20 pm IST - NEW DELHI

An Indian army soldier stands guard on a highway on the outskirts of Kohima, capital of northeastern Nagaland state, India, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. Angry villagers burned army vehicles in protest after more than a dozen people were killed by Indian army soldiers who mistakenly believed some of them were militants in Nagaland state, along the border with Myanmar, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) from here. Nagaland state’s top elected official ordered a probe into the killings, which occurred on Saturday. (AP Photo/Yirmiyan Arthur)

An Indian army soldier stands guard on a highway on the outskirts of Kohima, capital of northeastern Nagaland state, India, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. Angry villagers burned army vehicles in protest after more than a dozen people were killed by Indian army soldiers who mistakenly believed some of them were militants in Nagaland state, along the border with Myanmar, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) from here. Nagaland state’s top elected official ordered a probe into the killings, which occurred on Saturday. (AP Photo/Yirmiyan Arthur)

Expressing “deep regret” at the loss of lives in Nagaland earlier this month in the case of mistaken identity and the ensuing violence, the Army said on Sunday that its own inquiry into the incident is progressing “expeditiously” and all efforts are being made to conclude it at the earliest, adding that it is cooperating with the State government’s investigation.

Earlier in the day, a committee headed by a Home Ministry official was set up to look at the possibility of withdrawing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the State in the aftermath of the incident.

 

“The inquiry ordered by Army is progressing expeditiously and all efforts are being made to conclude it at the earliest. We have taken out notices for people to come forward and assist us in the inquiry by providing any information including videos, photos or any other material from original sources and will be grateful for the same,” the Army said in a statement. “We once again deeply regret the loss of lives during the December 4 incident in Mon District. Loss of lives is indeed sad and unfortunate.”

Stating that the Army is also fully cooperating with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) inquiry ordered by State government, the Army said required details are being shared in a timely manner.

The people of Nagaland have always cooperated and assisted the security forces in maintaining peace and tranquillity over the last many decades, the statement said adding, “We request all brothers and sisters of Nagaland to be patient and wait for the findings of the Army inquiry. We assure you that action will be taken in accordance with the law to secure justice for all.”

Fourteen civilians and a soldier were killed, six civilians in firing by security forces in a case of mistaken identity and others in the ensuing violence that erupted as angry locals attacked security forces at Oting in Mon district.

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