KOHIMA- The Nagaland special investigation team (SIT) has named 30 security forces personnel in its chargesheet on the killing of 13 civilians at Tiru-Oting area in December last year in a botched military operation, police said on Saturday.
However, it was learnt that the chargesheet was filed pending sanction for prosecution as the central government is yet to accord prosecution sanction for the 30 soldiers named in the SIT’s chargesheet even after a lapse of two months.
“The SIT has submitted its chargesheet to the court on May 30 and a case under section 120B/302/307/326/201/34 of the Indian Penal Code has been made against 30 soldiers of the operations team of 21 Para SF (1 major, 2 subedar, 8 havildar/THM, 4 naik, 6 lance naik and 9 paratroopers),” director general of police (DGP) TJ Longkumer said on Saturday.
The IPC sections deal with charges of criminal conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder, voluntarily causing grievous hurt, disappearance of evidence and criminal act done by several persons, respectively.
The SIT findings said that the security forces did not follow standard operation procedures and rules of engagement while resorting to indiscriminate and disproportionate firing leading to the killing of civilians in a counter-insurgency ambush that went horrifically wrong.
13 civilians were gunned down at Tiru-Oting area in Nagaland’s Mon district on the fateful evening of the December 4, 2021, which further resulted in the death of a security personnel when the villagers retaliated, and another civilian was killed by the Assam Rifles personnel in Mon town the subsequent day when an angry mob stormed the Assam Rifles camp.\
The army had also constituted a court of inquiry (CoI) headed by a Major General who had already visited ground zero and inspected the site to understand the circumstances in which the incident happened.
The chain of events following the killing of the civilians in Mon district had revived a public outcry for the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 (AFSPA), which grants security forces impunity to carry out anti-insurgent operations in the region, from Nagaland and the northeast region.
In March, the Centre announced partial lifting of the contentious Act in several pockets of the region including the areas of 15 police stations within Nagaland. The state police chief said a security grid has been set up with additional forces deployed to those areas and the state police are keeping vigil on security threats so as to ensure peace and tranquility.