March 24, 2023

Nagaland shootout: SIT to quiz soldiers today; 2 witnesses depose before CoI | India News – Times of India

GUWAHATI/NEW DELHI: The special investigation team (SIT) set up by the Nagaland government to probe the botched operation by 21 Para-Special Forces in the state on December 4 will start questioning the officers and soldiers involved in the incident from Thursday at Jorhat in Assam. The SIT is expected to submit its report next month.
Meanwhile, the Army’s Court of Inquiry (CoI) headed by a Major General recorded the statements of two witnesses, including BJP’s Mon district president Nyawang Konyak, on Wednesday in Nagaland’s Mon district where the incident, which eventually led to the death of 14 civilians and a soldier, had happened.
The CoI team inspected the site near Oting village in Nagaland’s Mon district “to understand the circumstances in which the incident could have happened”, a senior officer said. “The CoI team also took along witnesses for better understanding of the situation and the sequence of events that took place. Subsequently, the team was also present at Tizit police station for one-and-a-half hours to meet a cross-section of the society to obtain valuable information pertaining to the incident,” he added.
The Army will provide all assistance, including access to personnel and records, to the SIT, the officer said. Konyak, who is a key witness to the incident as he survived the firing on that day, told TOI that the Army team recorded his statement and that of Village Guards commander Lemwang. Both are residents of Oting.
The Army probe team in civvies arrived at the site of the incident in private vehicles at noon. On Tuesday, the Konyak civil society organisations had issued a statement asking the Army probe team not to come in uniform and not to carry weapons.
“They (Army team) recorded the statements of just two from Oting village. I have told them everything that happened on December 4. That day the commandos fired at me too and my companions. When I heard that villagers had also attacked the Army commandos in retaliation, I rushed to make peace. But on seeing me, the commandos fired at us even when the BJP flag on my car was very much visible. My driver was hit by bullets and injured while another person accompanying me was killed. Today, I have shown the Army team my vehicle with the bullet holes in it,” Konyak said.
“I have asked them to take back the statement (made by Amit Shah in Parliament) that the Army personnel had fired only when the vehicle in which the villagers were travelling did not stop after being signaled,” he added.

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