Army establishment to help guard Arunachal's capital

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Itanagar, Oct19 (UNI) In order to instill a sense of security among the citizens of the Capital Complex, the Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to allot 800 acres of land in Papum Pare district for setting up a military establishment according to the announcement of Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu.

The decision was taken as the Arunachal-Assam border along the Rajgarh Ali in Sonajuli-Durpong-Chessa-Chengmara-Hollongi area in the district has always been a safe haven for the underground elements, Papum Pare Deputy Commissioner Bidol Tayeng said.

The underground militants, particularly belonging to the Bodo outfits, have been using these areas to take shelter or to keep kidnapped persons from the Capital Complex in captive.

The rivers of Durpong, Chessa and Chengmara favourably link the state capital with these foothill areas and the militants use these river courses as short cut routes to escape after abducting targetted persons from the state capital. The foothills and jungles of Chengmara areas are the best hideouts to keep the abductees in captivity as has been proved in the past, the DC stated.

In 1997, ULFA militants ambushed an Itanagar police station vehicle at Chessa and attacked the occupants with automatic weapons, killing five policemen and injuring two on the spot. Trader Ulash Todi of Itanagar was kidnapped and kept in captivity in these areas during 2001. Several traders and officials were abducted and kept in captive in these areas. Getem Apang, son of former Chief Minister Gegong Apang, was recently kidnapped and kept captive in the same area, the DC disclosed.

''The potential for more such abductions by the militant outfits from the state capital appears has been curbed by the recent policy of the state government to allot land for the Army establishment along these foothills and they are not daring to commit such crimes,'' the DC added.

The Chief Minister, on the floor of the Assembly, recently announced that the state government had decided to establish training camps of security personnel, including of the newly created Indian Reserve Battalion and the proposed home guards and the 3,300 strong Arunachal scouts along the inter-state boundary to instill confidence among the Arunachalees who have been repeatedly victimised by evictions and alleged atrocities committed by the officials of Assam.

Once the Army establishment is set up along these foothills, the entire Arunachal-Assam boundary along the foothills from Sonajuli-Durpong-Chessa-Chengmara-Hollongi will become a safer area because of their presence and even the river courses would no more be easy escape routes for the ultras, Mr Tayeng added.

A team of high ranking Army officials would arrive here soon to carry out joint inspection of the area with the local administration. A preliminary survey of the area was carried out recently by the district administration and police, the DC informed.

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