On Monday, the head of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command said the force had completed a Court of Inquiry into the shooting in Nagaland, where soldiers shot dead more than a dozen civilians in December last year. After and after the killings in a foolish operation in the Otting area of Mon District, the Army launched a Court of Inquiry (CoI), when the state government formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the incident.
“It was a case of misidentification and erroneous verdict. The Army COI is complete and it is being investigated now. We have also received the SIT report and both are being analyzed,” said Lt. Gen. RP Kalita, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Command.
He said that if there is any defect or error in someone, action will be taken irrespective of his rank.
Lt. Gen. Kalita said the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which has been in force for decades in the northeastern states, provides some operational support to forces operating in difficult terrain, but the law was not absolute.
“There is a need to follow the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). Occasionally there are deviations. Whenever there is deviation, strict action is taken against the defaulters. In this case too, action will be taken as per Army law and requirements.
There have been protests and demands for the withdrawal of the AFSPA from Nagaland for the so-called “strict” provisions following the killings by army members in Otting.
The AFSPA empowers the security forces to conduct operations and arrest anyone without prior warrant, and gives the security forces immunity from arrest and prosecution if they shoot someone.
The law has been withdrawn from 15 police stations in six districts of Nagaland from April 1.
On December 4 last year, six coal miners returning from work were killed in a surprise attack by security forces in Otting, and seven more were shot dead when villagers became enraged after discovering the bullet-riddled bodies of workers in an army truck, clashing with soldiers. .
A security guard was also killed in the clash. The next day, another civilian was killed when a mob attacked an Assam Rifles camp in the town of Som.
The Nagaland government expanded the five-member SIT into a 22-member investigation team and divided it into seven groups.
The Army Court of Inquiry was headed by an officer of the rank of Major General.
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