Villagers sharing the incident with the district administration officials

Itanagar: The alleged attack on some villagers, including a church pastor, of Langkhao in Longding district of Arunachal Pradesh by Army jawans in the name of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA) has come under criticism from different sections of society.

Apart from condemnation from prominent organisations, namely, Wancho Council (WC), Wancho Students’ Union (WSU), Longding District Students’ Union (LDSU) and All Wancho Women Welfare Society (AWWWS), Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal East Ninong Ering has also written to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention into the matter. These organisations have also called such acts of the security forces as inhumane and in violation of human rights.

Meanwhile, in his report to the DC of Longding on Tuesday, N Borang, extra assistant commissioner, Kanubari, has confirmed the incident. “The villagers so detained were released in the morning only after obtaining the seal and signature from the gaon bura (village headman) on blank papers,” the report said.

As alleged by the villagers, the body of one Kamchan Wangpan, a resident of Langkhao village in Longding district, who was suspected be a member of the NSCN(U), was brought to Longkhojan on November 14 evening by some militants. The villagers were compelled to carry the body up to Ranglua village or face dire consequences.

As they were threatened with their lives, they had no option but to do the job. However, they denied having any connection either with the deceased or with the NSCN(U) militants.

In this connection, a case under Section 302 of the IPC was registered on November 15.

The villagers further alleged that Army personnel led by Captain Mahapatra arrived at Longkhojan village on November 18 and and conducted a search operation without informing the village chief.

The search operation was allegedly not accompanied by the police. Soon thereafter, the adult male members of the village were allegedly asked to gather at the community ground for inquiry. The villagers alleged that the Army personnel on duty mistreated them. Harsh words were allegedly used against the men and women. Altogether, 23 persons were allegedly detained throughout the whole night without food, water or warm clothes. Of the 23 detained, two persons, church pastor Lempho Wangjen and Rankai Apesam were allegedly beaten with sticks. They received severe injuries, said reports.

The villagers were released only in the morning after obtaining the seal and signature from the village chief on a blank paper, they alleged.

Meanwhile, the victims are getting treatment at the community health centre in Kanubari. An FIR has also been filed at Kanubari police station against the Army men from Assam.

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