Army tried to hide bodies under tarpaulin: Nagaland government on Mon ambush

Six civilians were killed on the spot and two critically injured. What followed was a cover up attempt by hiding the bodies and possibly taking them to the Army camp.

Published: 07th December 2021 05:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2021 08:54 AM   |  A+A-

People attend a mass funeral of civilians killed by the Army in a case of mistaken identity, in Mon district of Nagaland on Monday. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Special forces of the Army not only shot dead civilians in a case of mistaken identity in Nagaland’s Mon on Saturday, they also tried to hide the bodies under tarpaulin, a report by the state’s Director General of Police T John Longkumer and Commissioner Rovilatuo Mor revealed. 

A parallel first information report filed on the incident by the police was equally damning. Claiming that the Army did not inform them of the operation against insurgents, it alleged that “it is obvious that the intention of (the) security forces is to murder and injure civilians.”

The report of the DGP and the Commissioner said the unarmed civilians were “ambushed and killed by security forces (reportedly 21 Para based in Assam) at random, apparently without any attempt for identification.”

Six civilians were killed on the spot and two critically injured. What followed was a cover up attempt by hiding the bodies and possibly taking them to the Army camp.

“On hearing the gunshots, the villagers went to the spot being apprehensive that the individuals did not return home from work…They found the pickup truck and the special forces personnel trying to hide the dead wrapping and loading them in another pickup truck, apparently with the intention of taking the dead bodies to their base camp.” Violence broke out when the villagers found the bodies hidden under a tarpaulin sheet, the report said.

A mass funeral for the victims was slated for Sunday but put off by a day without any clear announcement, which angered the locals and resulted in an attack on an Assam Rifles camp in Mon. Army men firing blanks further enraged the mob.

“After almost an hour into the melee, the second round of continuous firing by the Assam Rifles resulted in the mob running for safety and protection. After the firing ceased, one protestor…was confirmed dead on the spot and six others, including one IR personnel, sustained bullet injuries,” the report added.

‘Mistaken identity’

Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday admitted in Parliament that the Nagaland firing was a case of mistaken identity and expressed regret over the civilian killings. 

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