The Nagaland Police on Saturday said army personnel had not followed the standard operating procedure (SOP) and rules of engagement during its botched anti-insurgency operation in Mon district in December last year leading to the death of 14 civilians.
State police in Nagaland submitted a charge sheet in December last year for firing on civilians and subsequent incidents on suspected militants in Nagaland. It is learned that there are names of 30 soldiers on the charge sheet. Last year, 14 unarmed villagers were shot dead by soldiers in Mon District of Nagaland. According to sources, the charge sheet names one army officer and 29 soldiers.
A special investigation team of Nagaland Police was formed to investigate the incident. They claimed in the charge sheet that on December 4, 2021, 21 para-Special Forces soldiers did not follow specific rules.
The workers were returning home in a pickup van after mining that night. In Otting, the army fired on them, thinking they were militants. It killed 6 ordinary villagers. A few more people, including an army jawan, were killed in the clashes with the villagers. In all, 14 people died. The situation became fiery.
The Nagaland government has sought permission from the Center to take action against the accused army officers and jawans. Nagaland State Police also sent a letter to Amit Shah’s Union Home Ministry seeking permission to take action against the accused.
The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) covers large parts of Nagaland. This law gives the army various additional powers. No legal action can be taken against the army or paramilitary without the permission of the Center.
Apart from the special investigation team of Nagaland police, the army is also investigating the incident.