Kohima: The findings of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe the killing of 14 civilians by army para-commandos in December last year in Nagaland can be made public once the Centre gives permission to prosecute the culprits, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said on Wednesday.

Following the killings in the Oting area of Mon district in a botched up operation and its aftermath, the state government set up the SIT and asked it to submit its report within 30 days that ended on January 5. Demands have been raised from various quarters to make the probe report public.

The state government has received the report of the investigation team, the chief minister said on the sidelines of an official programme here.

The SIT will now file a case for prosecution of the accused persons in the incident. It will require the permission of the Government of India and once it is done, the investigation report will be in the public domain, Rio said.

Fourteen people, including seven coal mine workers, were killed on December 4 and 5 in three consecutive episodes of firing by security forces, the first of which has been claimed to be a case of mistaken identity.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had told the Lok Sabha that the army had received information on the movement of insurgents in Mon and ’21 Para Commando’ unit had laid an ambush. A vehicle was signalled to stop but it tried to speed away. Suspecting the presence of insurgents in the vehicle, the security personnel opened fire, leading to the death of six of its eight occupants, Shah said.

Regretting the death of the civilians, he had said security forces fired in self-defence.

Eight others were killed in subsequent clashes between the force and villagers.

Several political parties have contested the government version that the vehicle was asked to stop.

Also read | WATCH: Mon Massacre, through the eyes of Oting


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