The commander of a 21 para special forces’ team, a major-ranked officer, “willfully suppressed” vital information that could have prevented the killings at Oting village in Nagaland on December 4.

According to a report, the commander of the 21 para SF team allegedly knew that the “ambush laid by his team was on the wrong route”.

“For at least 50 long minutes, the team commander of an army major rank – who led the operation in the Tiru-Oting area of Nagaland on December 4, 2021 – allegedly knew that the ambush laid by his team was on the wrong route,” claims The Wire report.

The report further claimed: “The officer, however, allegedly ‘wilfully suppressed’ this crucial information and instead, knowingly directed the 30 army personnel of the sophisticated Alpha team of 21 Para Special Forces in the wrong direction.”

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“He then ordered his team to carry out an operation in Nagaland’s Mon district, which claimed six civilian lives and seriously injured two more,” the report added.

The report further stated that “these damning findings are now central to the six-month-long investigation carried out by the Special Investigations Team (SIT) set up by the Nagaland state government to investigate the firing and the subsequent deaths”.

The SIT has accused the team commander of “deliberate omissions” and has alleged that his subsequent violent actions and cover-ups claimed the lives of 13 tribal men in two separate firing incidents that same evening, the report added.

The charge sheet has also booked his 29 subordinate officers for murder (section 302 of the Indian Penal Code), attempt to murder (section 307 IPC), grievous hurt (section 326 IPC), destruction of evidence (section 201 IPC), common intention (section 34 IPC) and criminal conspiracy (section 120 (B)), the report said.

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