13 villagers killed by security forces in Nagaland after counter-insurgency operation goes horribly wrong, Amit Shah says he’s ‘anguished’

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Home Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday that he was anguished after a counter-insurgency operation by the Indian security forces went horribly wrong at the Indo-Myanmar border in Nagaland, killing 13 civilians. One jawan was also reportedly killed. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has demanded an explanation from the government.

Amit Shah tweeted, “Anguished over an unfortunate incident in Nagaland’s Oting, Mon. I express my deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives. A high-level SIT constituted by the State govt will thoroughly probe this incident to ensure justice to the bereaved families.”

According to reports, Indian security forces opened fire at a bus carrying villagers near Oting village in Mon district. Six villagers died on the spot while others succumbed to their injuries while being taken to hospital.

Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “This is heart wrenching. GOI must give a real reply. What exactly is the home ministry doing when neither civilians nor security personnel are safe in our own land?”

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the incident was ‘unfortunate’ and his government had formed an SIT to investigate the matter. “The unfortunate incident leading to killing of civilians at Oting, Mon is highly condemnable.Condolences to the bereaved families & speedy recovery of those injured. High level SIT will investigate & justice delivered as per the law of the land.Appeal for peace from all sections,” he wrote on Twitter.

Rio, who was in Delhi, has reportedly headed back to Nagaland to hold emergency cabinet meeting. Meanwhile, mobile internet services have been banned in Mon district to stop the spread of what the government said were rumours.

Those killed by security forces belonged to Konyak community, which has decided to boycot the ongoing Hornbill Festival in the state. A few other tribal groups too have decided to boycot the festival, which is likely to to be attended by many foreign diplomats.

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