A villager was killed when security forces opened fire late Wednesday night in Khangsa village in Changlang, an Arunachal Pradesh district bordering Myanmar, with the Army authorities later admitting it was a case of mistaken identity.
Thirty-five year old Thingtu Ngemu was killed when bullets fired by jawans of the 21 Para (Special Forces) that is part of the on-going counter-insurgency operations in three eastern districts of the state, hit him from close range. Ngemu died on the spot.
Kohima-based Defence PRO Colonel Chiranjit Konwar said the civilian came in to the ambush that the Army troops had laid in a particular area, and was shot at when “he made very suspicious movements and rushed towards the ambush party.”
“The Army troops had laid an ambush in this particular area based on hard intelligence with regards to movement if a group of hardcore terrorists. It was during this time that the individual who has got killed, came into the ambush and on being challenged he made very suspicious movements and rushed towards the ambush party, which forced them to open controlled fire resulting in the individual suffering fatal injury. It is a case of mistaken identity,” Col Konwar, in a statement issued in Kohima said.
A case of mistaken identity death has been registered in the Namtok police station, while the body of the villager was handed over to his family after medico-legal formalities. Changlang, and two adjoining districts Tirap and Longding have remained disturbed since 1995 with various factions of the NSCN, the Paresh Barua faction of ULFA and some Meitei insurgent groups from Manipur using it as a transit area to and fro their bases in Myanmar.