New Delhi: Making a statement on the killing of civilians in Nagaland during botched-up operations against suspected insurgents, Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said in Rajya Sabha that all steps are being taken to bring back normalcy in the region.
“The government is keeping a close watch on the evolving situation and necessary measures are being taken as per the requirement to ensure peace and tranquility in the region. The state authorities, as precautionary measures, have promulgated prohibitory orders in the affected areas,” Shah said.
As per the statement in the House, a team of 21 para-commandos of the Indian Army laid an ambush on the evening of December 4 based on the inputs received by the Indian Army about the movement of the insurgents near Tiru village in the Tizit area of Mon district.
During the ambush, a vehicle approached the location and it was signaled to stop.
“However, the vehicle tried to flee, following which the vehicle, suspected of carrying insurgents, was fired upon resulting in the killing of 6 out of 8 persons travelling in the vehicle. However, it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity,” the Home Minister said.
On receiving the news, local villagers surrounded the Army team, burnt two vehicles and assaulted them resulting in death of one Security Force (SF) personnel and injuries to several others.
The Minister said that in order to disperse the crowd, SFs opened fire which resulted in the killing of 7 more civilians and injuring some others.
“The local administration and Police have tried to diffuse the situation, which remains tense but under control,” Shah said amid continuing protest by Opposition MPs over suspension of 12 members.
The Army had earlier released a press statement wherein they have deeply regretted the incident and its aftermath which resulted in the unfortunate killing of innocent civilians and it further mentioned that the cause of the unfortunate loss of lives is being investigated at the highest level and appropriate action will be taken as per law.
The Minister in the Upper House said that he had got in touch with the Governor and Chief Minister of Nagaland as soon as the news about the unfortunate incident came.
“MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) also deputed Additional Secretary, in-charge of North East to Kohima wherein he held a meeting with Chief Secretary and other senior officers of State Government of Nagaland and senior officers of the Para-Military Forces today morning. The situation was reviewed in detail to ensure that normalcy is restored at the earliest. It was decided that all agencies should ensure that no such unfortunate incident recurs in future while undertaking operations against insurgents,” Amit Shah said.
Shah said that the Government of India sincerely regrets the unfortunate incident in Nagaland and expresses its deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives.
He made a statement in Lok Sabha also but Opposition parties were not satisfied with it and several parties including Congress, DMK, SP, BSP and NCP staged a walk-out in protest.
The proceedings of the Rajya Sabha began on a stormy note Monday and adjourned multiple times as Opposition parties insisted on revoking suspension of 12 MPs. Each time the House reconvened, members of the Opposition trooped to the well, shouted slogans against the government and demanded to bring back the suspended MPs.