Agencies should ensure no unfortunate incident occurs while undertaking operations against insurgents: Shah
In the wake of the killing of 14 civilians in Nagaland's Mon district on Saturday night, in a botched Army operation, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has stated that all security agencies should ensure, no such unfortunate incident occurs while undertaking operations against insurgents in the future.
The centre has been attacked over the death of civilians amid strong demands that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) be repealed. Both Nagaland and Meghalaya chief ministers support the demand.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met senior members of his cabinet, including Shah, to discuss the situation and the centre's response.
In a statement in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha over the incident, Shah said that the situation was reviewed in detail to ensure that normalcy is restored at the earliest, adding that the situation remains tense but under control.
Stating that he immediately got in touch with the Governor and the Chief Minister of Nagaland, he said, “The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also got in touch with the Chief Secretary and the DGP of Nagaland and monitored the situation throughout the day yesterday. MHA also deputed Additional Secretary, in-charge of North East to Kohima, wherein he held a meeting with the Chief Secretary and other senior officers of State Government of Nagaland, including senior officers of the Para-Military Forces this morning."
He further added that 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 a precautionary measure, have promulgated prohibitory orders in the affected areas,” he said.
Regarding the army operation, Shah stressed on how the Indian army received inputs about the movement of the insurgents near Tiru village in Tizit, Mon district. Based on this, a team of 21 para-commandos led an ambush on Saturday evening, when a vehicle approached the location and was signalled to stop.
However, it 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 two persons who sustained injuries were evacuated to the medical facilities by the Army personnel.
He further said that upon receiving the news, local villagers surrounded the Army team, burnt two vehicles and assaulted them, resulting in the death of one Security Force (SF) personnel and injuries to several others.
The SFs opened fire to disperse the crowd. It resulted in the killing of 7 more civilians and injuring a few.
The Union Home Minister said that the Director-General of Police (DGP) and the Commissioner of Nagaland visited the spot on Sunday. “An FIR was registered regarding the incident at Tizit Police Station. Considering the complexity of the case, it has been transferred to the State Crime Police Station (SCPS) and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted and directed to complete the investigation within 1 month,” he informed.
Stating that a mob of 250 tried to ransack the Company Operating Base (CoB) of Assam Rifles in the town of Mon, he said, "They burnt buildings of the CoB following which troops had to open fire to disperse the mob. One civilian was killed while another was injured. More forces have been deployed in the area to prevent any further untoward incident."
After Shah’s statement, opposition MPs protested his speech and reiterated demands for a discussion, as well as the repeal of the contentious AFSPA. In protest, MPs from the Congress, the DMK, the Samajwadi Party, the BSP, and the NCP walked out.
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