Itanagar, June 16: The army killed a villager in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday, reported PTI. The deceased, identified as Thingtu Ngemu (35), died on the spot after the troopers of 21 Para (special forces) opened firing at him mistaking him to be an "ultra".
The incident took place when security forces were carrying out a counter-insurgency operation in the district bordering neighbouring Myanmar.
On Thursday, while admitting about the "tragic incident", the army called it a case of "mistaken identity". The incident took place on Wednesday night, defence PRO Colonel Chiranjit Konwer said on Thursday.
"Based on specific intelligence regarding movement of a hardcore terrorist group, the army personnel challenged the person when he arrived at the spot. The person identified as Thingtu Ngemu made 'very suspicious movements' and rushed towards the troop following which the army opened fire, resulting in his death," Konwer added.
In its statement, the army said, "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 challenged 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."
In the recent few days, the army has intensified its counter-insurgency operations along the Indo-Myanmar border as the area serves as a "free-corridor" for militant groups like the United Liberation Front of Assam and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang).