Oting incident happened due to intelligence failure and that the SIT report has revealed that the para forces have violated the rules of engagements.
By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent
In a major development, 30 personnel of the 21 Para Special Forces including one Major, two Subedars, eight Havaldars, four Naiks, six Lance Naiks and nine para troopers have been charge-sheeted after six months of investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in connection with the botched up operation where 14 villagers from Oting village under Mon district were killed on December 4 last year.
Nagaland DGP, T John Longkumer, briefing media persons on Saturday at a press meet convened at Rhododendron Hall, Police Complex, Chumukedima, claimed that the incident was due to intelligence failure and that the SIT report has revealed that the para forces have violated the Standard Operating Procedures and rules of engagements.
He said the indiscriminate firing led to the immediate killings of six villagers on the spot and the investigation has also revealed how the villagers who came in search of those “missing” turned violent after discovering the dead bodies which led to a scuffle resulting in the dead of one para trooper and injuring 14 others.
This prompted the Major to open fire at around 22 hours leaving eight persons dead and many injured. DGP also said that a separate FIR was lodged by Tizit police station against unknown persons to investigate into the death of one para trooper and other personnel of 21 para security forces and also damage caused to government properties.
Revealing the findings, Longkumer said that the personnel of the 21 para special-forces opened fire at the white Bolero pick-up truck which was carrying eight persons on the way to Oting village who were working as daily wage labourers in a coalmine. He said the 21 para SF carried out operations based on intelligence inputs. A case was registered against the 21 para special-forces under Section 120 B, 302, 307, 326, 201 and 134. He also informed that an FIR was registered at Tizit police station against unknown persons for the death of a para trooper.
Also informing that the investigation on Oting killings have been concluded and the report being submitted to the Court on May 13, Longkumer said CID’s report on action to be taken against the 21 para special forces, the department has submitted to military affairs in April first week this year at the same time a reminder for the same was given in May.
The investigating team has revealed that the 21 para special forces consisting of 31 personnel led by a major rank officer botched an operation in Tiru area on December 3 last year basing on intelligence inputs the presence of NSCN-K(YA) and ULFA cadres in the area.
On December 4 at around 4.20 pm, the operation team of the 21 para special-forces had laid down an ambush at a place near Oting-Tiru. They opened fire at the white bolero pick-up carrying eight people belonging to Oting village and most of whom were working as labourers in the coal mines at Tiru.