Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Mohd. Irshad Alam
A video has surfaced showing bodies of six Nagaland villagers wrapped in plastic and put in a truck, after they were killed in a case of 'mistaken identity' in an ambush by security forces in Oting village on Saturday, 4 December.
The Nagaland police, in its initial report, had claimed that after the six people were killed, seven more people died in a skirmish that broke out after the villagers discovered the bodies being "wrapped and hidden" in trucks.
Sources in the Nagaland government have confirmed the authenticity of the video to The Quint.
However, it remains unclear whether the bodies were being "hidden" as mentioned by the Nagaland police in its report or were wrapped to be transported as per protocol.
What the Police Had Claimed
In a brief report filed following the incident, the police had said that the villagers went to the site after they heard the gunshots as some people did not return home from work.
"On resching 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 (sic)," the report said.
"On finding the dead bodies in the Tata Mobile, under the tarpulin, 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 forces again opened fire against the villagers which led to the death of 7 (seven) more villagers and eyewitnesses confirmed that 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 (sic)," it added.
On 4 December, six villagers were killed in a case of mistaken identity by the 21st Para Military personnel in a counter-insurgency operation.
Seven more people were killed in a retaliatory clash after the forces allegedly tried to 'hide' the bodies before the villagers arrived, the video of which has now surfaced.
While the Army expressed "regret" over the incident, Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday addressed both Houses of the ongoing Parliament Winter Session and expressed condolences, assuring that probe of the highest level will be conducted in the matter.