Mobile, internet services shut in Nagaland’s Mon; Hornbill festival cancelled

According to emerging reports, the civilians were mistaken for insurgents and were gunned down in the village that borders Myanmar

Nagaland military kills civilians
Fourteen civilians died in Nagaland earlier this month in a botched army operation and the retaliatory violence that followed in Mon district

Mobile and internet services have been suspended in Nagaland’s Mon district hours after 14 people including a soldier were killed during a counter-insurgency operating at Oting on Sunday.

The Army has said that a probe of the highest level is underway to determine whether the incident was a case of mistaken identity, following which action would be taken against the guilty.

The famous annual Hornbill festival of Kohima has also been suspended in view of the incident.

The incident took place between Oting and Tiru villages when a group of daily-wage labourers were returning home in a pick-up van from a coal mine on Saturday evening, a police officer said. The vehicle was allegedly fired upon by Army personnel, who were conducting an operation in the area after receiving inputs on the movement of militants of Yung Aung faction of proscribed outfit NSCN (K).


Appealing for calm, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio termed the incident “unfortunate” which led to the “killing of civilians” in the state.

The Army on Sunday ordered a Court of Inquiry into the killings and expressed deep regret over the incident.

In a statement, the Army said the cause of the “unfortunate” loss of lives is being investigated by the Court of Inquiry at the “highest level” and appropriate action will be taken as per the course of the law.

Official sources said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Army Chief Gen MM Naravane have been briefed about the incident.

Army officials said the operation was carried out based on credible intelligence inputs about the likely movement of insurgents in the area.

“The incident and its aftermath are 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,” the Army said in a statement. It said the security forces have suffered severe injuries in the operation and one soldier succumbed to injuries.