Kolkata, Nov. 8 (IANS): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman undertook a tour of the forward areas in Dau-Delal and Lohit valleys of Aruanachal Pradesh, a defence ministry release said on Thursday.
Sitharaman on Wednesday first overflew the forward-most post of Rochcham near India-China border, and Hayuliang.
At the forward post, the minister celebrated Diwali, distributed sweets to the troops and wished them happiness.
She appreciated the zeal, enthusiasm and dedication of the troops who are stationed in the high mountainous areas to ensure the sanctity of Indian borders.
At Hayuliang, the minister also interacted and distributed sweets to local civilians and GREF personnel.
Sitharaman was accompanied by Lt. Gen. M.M. Naravana, General Officer Commanding-in-chief Eastern Command and Lt. Gen. Gopal R, General Officer Commanding Spear Corps.
Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Kiren Rijiju took stock of the situation arising out of clashes between Army and Arunachal Pradesh Police personnel here.
Some soldiers had allegedly vandalised the Bomdila police station and assaulted police personnel and civilians last week.
“The Defence Minister (Sitharaman) and I looked into the ongoing conflict between the army and state police personnel. I appeal everyone not to treat it as army versus police and civil administration issue,” Rijiju, the Union minister of state for home, told PTI.
Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, said the unfortunate incident that happened at Bomdila on November 2 should be settled amicably through proper understanding.
“Both the army and the police are serving the nation with utmost dedication. An incident can’t be allowed to tarnish the image of the great institutions,” he said. Both Sitharaman and Rijiju also met members of the civil society as part of confidence building measures.
Sitharaman is visiting Arunachal Pradesh to celebrate Diwali along with soldiers posted in the forward areas along the Sino-Indian border.
The incident happened when a group of soldiers allegedly misbehaved with civilians and police personnel at the Buddha Mahotsav celebrations in Bomdila, officials said.
Following this, the local station house officer went to the spot and two soldiers were brought to police station.
After that some soldiers allegedly vandalised the Bomdila police station, assaulted police personnel and civilians, they said.
Steps taken for bettering Army, police relationship — Khandu
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday said that steps are being taken to improve the relation between the Indian Army, local administration and the state police.
Khandu’s comments came in the backdrop of an incident last week when a few soldiers had allegedly vandalised the Bomdila police station and assaulted police personnel and civilians. “A monthly sitting will be held between the Army and the state police for maintaining harmonious relation and to resolve issues, he said while attending the 46th Raising Day of Arunachal Pradesh Police here at Indira Gandhi Park along with Home Minister Kumar Waii, Speaker TN Thongdok and other officials.
The chief minister directed the state police head to ensure that all necessary steps are taken so that relations with the armed forces can be maintained.
“I am happy to know that the state has been adjudged as the best performing state when it came to securing law and order as per the survey by the Indian Television News Channel
India Today,” he said.
He said the credit goes to the Arunachal Police force personnel who have been discharging their duties with utmost dedication and also bringing innovations in serving the people.
“This was the result of several police reforms brought by the state government in recent years giving highest priority to securing law and order in the state, Khandu said.
To fill critical manpower gaps in state police, the chief minisster said 45 head constable posts for fire department, 32 DSP, 80 Inspector for civil police, 4 posts of Inspector (Telecom) and 3 posts of Inspector radio technicians including 700 new posts for civil police have been created. “For time-bound recruitment process for filling up of around 1,800 personnel of various ranks is underway, he said.
Khandu said the state government will leave no stone unturned in modernizing the police force and in giving best facilities to them so that law and order in the state is not compromised. For ensuring safety of women, women police station like the one in Itanagar has been extended to five more districts, Khandu said adding, recently one women police station was inaugurated in East Kameng district.
Earlier the chief minister inaugurated the event by unfurling the national flag and releasing balloons in the air.