Altercation between police and volunteers

Staff Reporter
ROING, Jul 29: The head gaon burah of Parbuk village here, had in a recently filed complaint to the Lower Dibang Valley deputy commissioner, sought an apology from the superintendent of police following reports of an altercation between the Roing unit police and Covid-19 volunteers of Parbuk village.
Earlier, on 24 July at around 5 to 7 PM, a group of volunteers from Parbuk village stopped a pick-up truck (with Assam registration number) that was passing by the village on the highway. The vehicle was carrying livestock.
Reportedly, at that time, Lower Dibang Valley SP, DySP and team, who were returning from a visit to Shantipur checkgate saw the vehicle parked in the middle of the national highway along with a group of men.
The police team stopped to take stock of the situation and found out that the group had stopped the driver, who was from Emuli village. The police stated that “the driver who was returning from his field was being harassed by the men.”
According to the police, when they told the men that they cannot stop people on the highway, the men started arguing with them saying that they were doing Covid duty as per the SDO’s order.
On checking their IDs, the police team found that their duty pass was for the Assam-Arunachal border and not for the highways. On being reprimanded about the same, an argument took place between the two parties.
Reportedly, on that day, another group had already stopped the same vehicle just about a kilometer away from the particular point on the highway and had allowed it to move on.
Subsequently, when the two groups were brought together by the police and advised to have better coordination, “the two groups started arguing with each other.”
Thereafter, the police team warned them not to stop vehicles on the highway and left the scene with the stopped vehicle in tow.
However, Parbuk HGB Alapa Pertin has said that the police had “behaved rudely with the volunteers who were only doing their duty.”
“Why should the police reprimand the volunteers? They should have asked for me and should have spoken with me,” he said.
Though Pertin confirmed that no volunteer was physically abused, he, however, claimed that the police had threatened the volunteers with their batons.
“I went to meet the SP but he did not meet me. He also didn’t take my calls. That is why we had to write to the DC about it. We need an apology and if he does not apologize, we will take further necessary action,” he added.
Meanwhile, as per police records a complaint was lodged against volunteers of the same area on 26 July last, regarding harassment and physical abuse by a regular commuter who was returning to Roing from Parbuk area carrying livestock.
In his letter to the SP Roing, the complainant mentioned that he was afraid to travel the particular area because he was threatened of dire consequences by the Covid volunteers of the village, who were allegedly drunk.