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A civil-military face-off has been triggered by the clash between Army and Police personnel in Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh. The central civil administrative officers’ body urged the Defence Ministry to initiate action as a video of the commanding officer of the unit warning the cops did the rounds on social media.

Army soldiers allegedly vandalised Bomdila police station and assaulted police personnel and civilians on November 2. A video of the commanding officer of the army unit issuing a warning was put out on social media.

“Be very careful while you move out of Bomdila. This is a direct threat to you. You dare touch my boy again. Take it as a warning,” the colonel is heard saying.

A letter from Rakesh Srivastava, president of the Indian Civil and Administrative Services (Central) Association, to Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra highlights that IAS officer Dr Sonal Swarup was “verbally abused” and “stone pelted.” The letter is dated November 6 and Swarup serves as the District Magistrate of West Kameng.

“If such incident is allowed to go unpunished and not deterred through prompt, strong and firm action it would not only embolden such perpetrators but also shake the basic foundation of institutions built over years,” the letter says.

Srivastava is currently the secretary at the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The letter further states that the district magistrate displayed exemplary courage in handling the delicate situation despite being physically hit.

“The alleged perpetrators should be brought to speedy justice and such incidents remain an aberration in the otherwise illustrious legacy of the armed forces,” the association said.

Five FIRs have been registered against Army officials, and Commanding Officer of 2 Arunachal Scouts battalion, Colonel Firdosh P Dubhash has made counter allegations. He has written to the Superintendent of Police Raja Bhantia alleging “vindictive behaviour” by the officer in charge of the police station. He also said two military personnel were taken into custody forcefully and beaten up with canes.

He has also alleged that the officer-in-charge was intoxicated and has urged for the filing of a counter FIR.

Sources say the incident took place after a group of soldiers allegedly misbehaved with civilians and police personnel at the Buddha Mahotsav celebrations in Bomdila. This was followed by the local police reaching the spot and two soldiers were taken to the police station, triggering a clash.

Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday took stock of the situation speaking to officials on the ground.

“The Defence Minister and I looked into the ongoing conflict. I appeal everyone to not to treat it as Army versus police and civil administration issue,” Rijiju, the Union minister of state for home, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh had said.

COUNTER CLAIMS

  • Five FIRs have been registered against Army officials, and Commanding Officer of 2 Arunachal Scouts battalion, Colonel Firdosh P Dubhash has made counter allegations  
  • He has written to the SP Raja Bhantia alleging “vindictive behaviour” by the officer in charge

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