Police in the northeastern state of Nagaland on Monday filed a report against the Indian army, saying its troopers “blankly opened fire at the vehicle without any provocation,” resulting in the killing of many villagers and seriously wounding others.
According to the police, at around 3:30 p.m. (local time) on Saturday, some coal mine laborers returning from work were fired upon by the troopers.
The army said the truck carrying them was “mistakenly ambushed” during an anti-insurgent operation.
Soon after the news about the killings spread, residents in the area took to roads attacking troops and set two military vehicles on fire, triggering further violence.
At least 14 civilians and a trooper of Assam Rifles were killed and over a dozen others wounded in a series of violent clashes in the district.
Authorities have imposed prohibitory orders in Mon district and disallowed public gathering of more than five people at a time.
The army, in a statement on Sunday, expressed deep regret over the “unfortunate loss of lives”, adding that the matter would be investigated at the “highest level”.
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday morning met senior ministers to discuss the Nagaland violence and the government’s response to a “sensitive” issue.
According to officials, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah will make statements in both the houses of parliament on Monday evening over the Nagaland incident.
India’s northeastern region has been roiled by separatist insurgencies led by local militant organizations demanding separation from the Indian union.