By Ajit Dubey
Kohima (Nagaland) (India), December 5 (ANI): In the Nagaland killing case where 13 civilians lost their lives in firing by troops, it is emerging that the Special Forces in that area were tipped off by the intelligence agencies about the movement of some terrorists of the NSCN (KY) and ULFA.
Sources in the security forces said the unit had deployed different teams for surveillance and ambush after receiving the inputs about the movement of terrorists in the Tiru area of the Mon district of Nagaland.
The civilians travelling in the Bolero vehicle were fired at by the troops after they crossed one of the ambush parties and reached the area of the second one which fired at the civilians, they said.
In the initial firing, six civilians were killed as the troops fired for effect, the sources said adding that the initial confusion may have caused as the civilians were carrying a hunting rifle.
After the incident took place, the Special Forces troops were waiting for the police to arrive when 14 troops were surrounded by over 200 civilians protesting against the killings.
Sources said the civilians were very angry and were carrying machetes. A soldier was also attacked who lost his life after which the Special Forces started firing in self-defence.
This led to the death of seven to eight more civilians. The injured included a number of civilians and army personnel present there.
The Nagaland area is under the 3 Corps which looks after the state along with the Assam Rifles.
The Special Forces unit involved in the incident is affiliated with the 3 Corps and is responsible for special operations in that area.
After the operation went wrong, the Indian Army issued a statement saying the "incident and its aftermath is deeply regretted."
"The cause of the unfortunate loss of lives is being investigated by a Court of Inquiry at the highest level and appropriate action will be taken as per the course of law," it stated.
The Army said the security forces have suffered severe injuries in the operation including one soldier who succumbed to his injuries. (ANI)