Nagaland firing incident: Major General to head Army's court of inquiry

Asia's Tech News Daily

nagaland, firing incident, major general, indian army, court of inquiry

The Army has mandated a Major General posted in the northeast to conduct its court of inquiry into killing of 14 civilians in Nagaland in separate incidents of firing, beginning with a special forces unit gunning down mine workers in a pickup truck.

It is rare for such a senior officer to head the probe into an operation led by a Major, but the mandate has been given due to the serious nature of the incidents and their ramifications on the peace process in Nagaland.

The officer, supported by a team not involved in the operation, will go through the minute details of the operation – from the credence of the initial intelligence to ambush by special forces and the subsequent clash with locals. It is unclear how long the process will take, given that all soldiers of the 21 Para Regiment who undertook the operation are hospitalised due to injuries from clashes with civilians. The leader of the group, a Major, is believed to be in the intensive care unit with grievous injuries. A soldier who died in the clash was ‘almost decapitated’ before his colleagues ‘fired to disperse’ the crowd, according to one version of the events. The exact sequence and response of soldiers is expected to be brought out in detail by the inquiry.

The internal process may face complications, given that local police has filed cases of murder against soldiers. The police has alleged that the operation was carried out without any intimation to civilian authorities and it only came to their attention after civilians clashed with soldiers after six colliery workers were killed and several more injured in the first incident of firing.

According to one version of the events, the tools carried by mine workers were ‘mistaken for weapons’ by the ambushing party. In the second incident, when locals clashed with the para soldiers after the killings, soldiers were ‘surrounded by a mob of local villagers and had to resort to firing in self-defence after they were attacked by sharp edged weapons, leading to the death of a young jawan,’ according to security force insiders.

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