NEW DELHI: Army chief General MM Naravane reiterated on Wednesday that the firing which resulted in the deaths of several people in Mon district of Nagaland was highly regrettable and the court of inquiry into the incident is in its final stages.
Replying to a question, General Naravane said, “The incident is highly regrettable. The inquiry is in its final stages and the findings would be submitted in a day or two.”
In the aftermath of the incident, the Eastern Command was quick in ordering an inquiry led by a two-star Major General, said the Army chief.
The Army chief said, “I would like to clarify that the law of the land is paramount and we would always uphold that and take action as required in upholding the law of the land.”
In a case of mistaken identity, a special unit of the Indian Army on December 4 had opened fire at a pick-up van carrying miners in Mon district. Six miners were killed on the spot and nine more people including an Army soldier were killed in the violence which followed the incident.
Earlier, a special investigation team (SIT) set up by the Nagaland government on December 30 collected the statements of Army officers and jawans involved in the incident.
“We have been cooperating fully with the SIT and both the CoI and SIT are taking statements from a wide cross-section of the people who were involved so that we can come to a greater understanding of what happened. And based on the findings of the inquiry, appropriate action would be taken,” he said.
Deliberating on the overall security situation in the North East, General Naravane said the situation has improved manifold.
The ambush on the convoy of 46 AR doesn’t indicate a deterioration in the overall situation in the Northeast, he said. “Two divisions worth (between 25,000-30,000 troops) have been de-inducted and it shows how much the security situation has improved. Their role has been taken up by the Assam Rifles,” he added.