Get to know the official report on Oting incident of Dec 4 & 5

On finding the dead bodies in the Tata Mobile, under a tarpaulin, violence broke out between the villagers and the Security personnel. As a result, the irate villagers burnt 3 (three) vehicles belonging to the Special Forces Personnel. In the melee, the security personnel again opened fire against the villagers which led to the death of 7 (seven) more villagers and eyewitnesses have confirmed that the Special Forces Personnel opened fire indiscriminately as they fled from the scene towards Assam side even firing in the Coal mine hutments on the way.

A brief report of the Oting incident of December 4 and the aftermath following the killing of 6 villagers has been provided by DGP, T John Longkumar (IPS) and Commissioner Nagaland, Rovilatuo Mor (IAS) dated December 5.

The following is the exact report and findings of the December 4 evening gruesome incident.

On the evening of 4th December around 1610 hrs, where 08 (eight) villagers were returning home from coal mining work at Tiru in a Pickup Truck, they were ambushed and killed by Security Forces reportedly, 21 Para Special Force based in Assam) at random, apparently without any attempt for identification. They were all unarmed civilians working in the Coal Mines in Tiru valley and possessed no arms travelling in an open Mahindra Pickup truck in broad daylight but were fired upon and six of them were killed on the spot and two critically injured. This incident happened some few Kilometers away from Oting village.

On hearing the gunshots, the villagers went to the spot being apprehensive that the individuals did not return home from work. On reaching the spot, they found the Pickup truck and the Special Forces Personnel trying to hide the dead bodies of the six villagers by wrapping and loading them in another pickup truck (Tata Mobile) apparently with the intention of taking the dead bodies to their base camp.

On finding the dead bodies in the Tata Mobile, under a tarpaulin, violence broke out between the villagers and the Security personnel. As a result, the irate villagers burnt 3 (three) vehicles belonging to the Special Forces Personnel. In the melee, the security personnel again opened fire against the villagers which led to the death of 7 (seven) more villagers and eyewitnesses have confirmed that the Special Forces Personnel opened fire indiscriminately as they fled from the scene towards Assam side even firing in the Coal mine hutments on the way.

On the secured crime site, there are a total of 5 (five) vehicles, viz, 1. The Mahindra Pickup in which the civilians were ambushed; 2. One burnt Scorpio; 3. Burnt Bolero; 4. Burnt Tata Winger; and 5. Tata Mobile (not brunt but damaged). Altogether, 13 (thirteen) civilians were killed on that day and seriously injuring 14 (fourteen) civilians and 8 (eight) civilians with minor injuries. Two of the seriously injured persons were taken to Assam side by the Security forces themselves and are now admitted in the ICU at Dibrugarh Medical Hospital.

At the time of filing of this report, Prohibitory Orders under CrPC Section 144 has been clamped in Mon town to control the situation. The situation continues to be tense and volatile.

On 5th December, 2021, the Konyak Union had announced for a mass funeral service of the 13 (thirteen) deceased civilians at the Helipad, Mon town, whose mortal remains were brought there from Oting village. However, the programme was postponed to 6′ December, 2021 at 10:00 A.M. but no such clear announcement was made regarding the postponement. This confusion led to the crowd getting agitated and a section of the public started marching towards the District Hospital and Konyak Union office whereby they vandalized the KU office. Thereafter, the agitated crowd proceeded towards the 27th Assam Rifles post located at Thamnan Ward.

Also read: Seven Oting villagers allegedly killed in Assam Rifles ambush in Nagaland

The mob then reached the periphery of the camp and got violent, pelting stones, vandalizing properties and setting ablaze to three buildings within the Post. The Assam Rifle personnel then resorted to blank firing which again agitated the mob further.

The District Administration and Police Officials tried to reason and pacify the mob but was outnumbered by the mob with a thick of around 600-700 people armed with sticks, pipes, flammable fluids and a few of them with machetes or daos. After almost an hour into the melee, the second round of Continuous firing by the Assam Rifles resulted in the mob running for safety and protection. After the firing ceased, one protester by the name of Shri. Leong of Chi village, was confirmed to be dead on the spot and 6 (six) others sustained bullet wound injuries, including one IR personnel of 11′ IRB, Aboi, who were shifted to District Hospital.

At the time of filing of this report, Prohibitory Orders under CrPC Section 144 has been clamped in Mon town to control the situation. The situation continues to be tense and volatile.

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