The Army should accept its mistake before it’s too late

There is immense anger among the people of Arunachal at the killing of a civilian, Lamdam Lukham at Pumao in Longding district, by the 19th Sikh Regiment on 16 May last.
Amid the Covid-19 lockdown, the civil society bodies of Longding took out a rally on Monday demanding justice and raised slogans against the Indian Army.
The protestors have served a weeklong ultimatum to the state government demanding early action against the Army personnel involved in the 16 May incident. The 60-year-old Lukham was an unarmed civilian and his killing took place after a peace meeting held between army and civilian to resolve an issue ended abruptly.
Naturally, the people are feeling hurt by the killing and at the arrogant attitude of the Indian Army. There is palpable anger among the citizens over the killing.
Even though the people of the insurgency-affected districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding are always caught between the Army and rebel groups, they have always been patriotic Arunachalees.
Their patriotism to the nation and state cannot be questioned.
Hangpan Dada, who made supreme sacrifice of his life while fighting terrorists at Kashmir, is a prime example. But the way the Indian Army recklessly killed an unarmed civilian has the potential to change the dynamics in the region.
The Army should accept their mistake, apologize and punish the wrongdoers before it’s too late. This is the best way to win back the hearts of the people. If not, the mistrust between civilians and the army will only grow more in the days to come.