Ministry is probing how a local-level brawl escalated into a war of institutions, after IAS body demanded action against Indian Army personnel.
New Delhi: Defence Ministry sources have said both the police and Indian Army jawans were at fault in the brawl at Arunachal Pradesh’s Bomdila last Friday, which reportedly led to the vandalisation of a police station and a local PWD office in the West Kameng district.
“It is also being studied that how a brawl at a local level escalated into a major civil-military tussle, and the institutions were dragged into this,” a ministry source said, adding that the full picture will emerge only after a thorough inquiry into the incident.
The IAS association had written to the Ministry of Defence, urging it to take action against the Indian Army officers guilty of the violence.
Bomdila is particularly resonant with the Indian Army. It was here in 1962 that poorly-armed soldiers put up a last ditch battle against the Chinese.
What happened that night
Two allegedly inebriated jawans from the 2nd Arunachal Scouts regiment of the Indian Army reportedly clashed with the local police and were picked up after they misbehaved with locals. Army sources said the jawans were beaten up in the lock-up Friday night, and are getting treated at a military hospital.
A day later, more than 100 personnel of the regiment allegedly ransacked a local police station and a PWD office. The local district magistrate was also allegedly attacked, while a video of commanding officer Col. Firdosh P. Dubash — where he was seen threatening the police of consequences if the boys of his unit were touched — went viral.
Col. Firdosh received huge praise from the rank and file of the armed forces, who said he behaved in a way befitting a leader.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju also visited Bomdila to get a first-hand account of the incident, a rare instance.
Subsequently, in a tweet, Rijiju, also the Lok Sabha MP for the region, said that due to indecorous acts at individual level, a reprehensible incident took place, but whole institutions can’t be dragged into it.
“My constituency people are peace loving. But some outside elements are making hateful comments in social media without any factual knowledge,” he wrote.
Arunachal Scouts is an offshoot of the Assam regiment — which is one of the most diverse regiments of the Indian Army — and comprises of mainly locals.
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the correct name of the commanding officer as Col. Firdosh P. Dubash. The error is regretted.
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