ITANAGAR: A 35 year old farmer Thingtu Ngemu of Kongsa village, Changland district in Arunachal Pradesh was shot dead by the Armed forces last night in what the Army said was the “mistaken”belief that he was a NSCN insurgent. He leaves behind his wife and two children.

Ngemu had gone with seven elders to look for a villager elder Tuwang Ngemu who had gone to buybetel leaves but failed to return home. Reportedly Tuwang was detained by the 21 Para Troopers who were already ambushing underground cadres in the area. And when the villagers came looking for him the troopers fired at them, allegedly mistaking the youths to be those from the underground.

In the commotion Tuwang was released by them. However, the angry villagers filed an FIR against the para troopers at Namtok PS. A case has been registered against them under Section 302 of IPC and Section 27 of the Arms Act.

The Army admitted the firing and the death with a statement: “it is clarified with reference to the incident of one villager getting killed in Changland on night 14-15 June, 2017. The Army troops had laid an ambush in this particular area based on hard intelligence with regards to movement of a group of hardcore terrorists. It was during this time the individual who has got killed, came into the ambush and on being challgened 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.”

The Army has intensified Counter insurgency operations in the region as it is a transit route for Ulfa (I) and NSCN-K insurgents.