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Army orders probe

SHILLONG: The Army has ordered a detailed investigation into the incident of killing of two civilians including a teacher at Kharkutta in a case of mistaken identity on Wednesday night.
However, police have taken exception to the Army operations as they had not informed the police personnel about the operations which was mandatory unless it is was a hot pursuit.
In a statement issued to the media on Thursday, the Public Relations Officer (Defence), Guwahati, Lt. Col. Suneet Newton said on specific information from a source, about the movement of two GNLA terrorists on motorcycle, on road Kharkutta to Khilor, Army troops established a mobile vehicle check post at approximately 8:30 pm on November 25. Thereafter, they started checking the motorcycles passing by.
According to the Army statement, two motorcycles, both    having two persons each aged between 20-25 years, were signalled to stop. Both the motorcycles stopped and were checked in detail. They were allowed to go as nothing suspicious was found.
“At around 8:40 pm, a third group of motorcyclists, when signalled to stop, abnormally accelerated their bike and tried to escape. Due to the huge back blast and flash which came out of the silencer and due to the prevailing pitch darkness, it seemed that the motorcyclists had opened fire. The troops, also opened fire in self defense, due to which the motorcyclists were hit and died on the spot,” the statement added.
According to the Army spokesperson, the incident primarily occurred due to non-adherence of existing security instructions by the concerned motorcycle borne civilians.
A senior police official said that the incident was due to a mistaken identity on the part of the Army.
The Army which can operate 20 km in the border came to Kharkutta, but they had not informed the local police which was mandatory, the police official said, adding, there was no hot pursuit as far as the particular case is concerned.
“We have registered a case in this regard and the Army has admitted that it was a case of mistaken identity,” the police official added.
In addition to the FIR field by the relatives, initial complaint lodged by the police was updated after it was revealed that the civilians were killed due to mistaken identity. Besides, a magisterial inquiry was also ordered into the incident, police added.

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