GUWAHATI: In less than four months of the civilian killings in Nagaland’s Mon district in a botched ambush by the Army’s elite 21 Para, the commandos of the Army’s 12 Para fired upon two civilians in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh after mistaking them for militants.
The victims – Nokphua Wangpan and Ramwang Wangsu – escaped with injuries. One was injured on his left leg and the other on his right hand. Both were airlifted to a hospital in Assam’s Dibrugarh.
The incident occurred at Chasa village on Friday night, when the duo were returning from a river after fishing. Tirap district officials as well as the Army authorities were not available for comments. However, an Army officer, who had supposedly led the team of Para commandos, admitted to the mistake.
The army officer, who identified himself as Major James, said in a viral video that the families of the victims would be compensated.
“The persons are being treated even as we speak. They will be airlifted for advanced treatment. We admit to our mistake,” he said as he and his colleagues were surrounded by angry villagers after the incident. He said he had spoken with a doctor and the injuries were not life-threatening. He also said the duo’s treatment would be taken care of and he took responsibility of it.
To further placate the locals, he said he and his colleagues would not leave the place till the villagers were satisfied with the arrangements. “We are ready to give a written statement that we made a mistake. I will also sign on the copy of FIR. I take full responsibility as the incident happened under my command,” Major James said. The Para unit is based in Khonsa of Tirap.
One of the injured said four of them were returning from the river after fishing, singing aloud songs. The personnel stopped them on a road, quizzed them, checked their belongings and then allowed them to proceed but soon fired at them from behind.
According to the victim, they shouted “we are public” but the personnel kept firing. He said one of them was carrying a locally-made gun and machetes used for hunting – which is common in these villages.
‘Carrying hunting guns common in villages’
One of the victims of the firing said his companion was carrying a locally-made gun and machetes used for hunting – which is common in these villages