Nagaland Firing: DGP alleged armed security forces trying to hide dead bodies

News Desk: The Nagaland DGP and the state commissioner wrote in a joint report on Saturday’s Mon district Army firing that killed 13 civilians that villagers came out hearing gunshots and found commandos of 21st Para Special Force trying to take away the bodies of six coal miners they shot dead in a botched counter-insurgency operation.

The report submitted to the state government on Sunday said the villagers attacked after seeing their dead brethren and the commandos “again opened fire”, leading to the death of seven more Naga civilians. “Eyewitnesses have confirmed that the Special Force personnel fired indiscriminately as they fled the scene towards Assam, even shooting at coal miners’ huts on the way”.

DGP T John Longkumer and Nagaland commissioner Rovilatuo Mor wrote that eight villagers were returning home in a pickup truck around 4.10pm on December 4 when “they were ambushed and killed by Security Forces (reportedly, 21 Para Special Force based in Assam) at random, apparently without any attempt for identification”.

“They were all unarmed civilians working in the coal mines in Tiru valley and possessed no arms travelling in an open Mahindra pickup truck in broad daylight, but were fired upon and six of them were killed on the spot and two critically injured. This incident happened a few km from Oting village”.

The villagers, as per the report, found that the Special Force personnel were “trying to hide” the six bodies by “wrapping and loading them in another pickup truck, apparently with the intention of taking” them to “their base camp”. “On finding the bodies in the Tata Mobile, under a tarpaulin, violence broke out between the villagers and the security personnel. As a result, the irate villagers burnt three vehicles belonging to the Special Force” the report said.

Thirteen civilians were killed that day and 14 were gravely wounded. Two of the wounded were taken to Assam “by the security forces” and admitted to Dibrugarh Medical College and Hospital, the DGP and commissioner said.

As protests broke out after the firing, the report said, an angry crowd on Sunday went to the 27 Assam Rifles post at Thamnan Ward of Mon and set afire three buildings.