Bomdila: Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju visited Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday evening to take stock of the situation following the recent alleged ransacking of a police station and other public property by jawans of the Indian Army.
Cutting short her visit to Anjaw, the minister also met senior Army officers of the area separately.
The defence minister gave a patient hearing to the local legislator and civil society representatives of all the six tribes of the district, each of whom aired out their grievances.
On Tuesday, EastMojo had reported about a new video surfacing close to three days after more than 100 Army Jawans ransacked a police station and a nearby Public Works Department (PWD) office in Bomdila area of West Kameng district. In the video, a senior Army officer can be seen threatening policemen for taking ‘action’ against two Arunachal Scouts jawans on Saturday.
Warning the policeman, the Army officer can be heard saying, “Be very careful when move out of Bomdila, this is a direct threat to you.”
In the video that surfaced on Monday, the 2nd AS Commanding Officer (CO), Firdosh P Dubash, further said: “Take it as warning, you dare touch my boy again any time in future and see what I make out of you.”
Participating in the meeting with the defence minister, the West Kameng deputy commissioner, district SP and commanding officer of Arunachal Scouts, too, presented their version on the incident that took place on November 3 at the Bomdila police station.
The defence minister later visited the site of incident under Bomdila police station to see the damages caused. She gave a patient hearing to the lady policemen and the OC of the police station, who were on duty on November 2.
While spending two hours in Bomdila enquiring about the whole incident, Sitharaman also encouraged all the officers to keep their morale high while rendering service to the nation.
Condemning the incident, Union minister Rijiju called for a better understanding and co-operation between the armed forces and the civil administration for a vibrant and prosperous society.
On November 6, the Indian Civil and Administrative Services (Central) Association (IC&AS Association) had brought the matter to the notice of the defence ministry and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
In a letter addressed to Sanjay Mitra, secretary, minister of defence, Rajiv Srivastava, president, IC&AS Association alleged that a battalion of the 2nd Arunachal Pradesh Scouts – led by Colonel FB Firdauz and adjutant Major Kaushik Roy — “vandalised government properties and physically assaulted the district magistrate of the area, the superintendent of the police and other officials of the Bomdila police station in the West Kameng district of the state on November 2”.
Srivastava also called on authorities to ensure that the alleged perpetrators are brought to speedy justice, “so that such incidents remain an aberration in the otherwise illustrious legacy of the armed forces”.
However, the Army has denied the allegations, and said that it was the police who misbehaved with the commanding officer after he had gone to the police station to resolve a situation that had arisen after two soldiers were allegedly beaten up by police.