In what could be termed as a shocking incident, a local tribal resident of Anini in Dibang Valley district has levelled serious allegations against personnel of the 3 Kumaon Rifles of trespassing and causing mental and physical harassment and trauma to him and his family. The allegation is very serious in nature and it needs to be thoroughly investigated by the district administration as well as by the army authorities. The people of Arunachal share an excellent relationship with the Indian Army. Unlike the rest of the NE region, where relations between the army and the civilians have been tricky due to insurgency problems, there has been no such issue in the state.
Even in insurgency-affected Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts, the armed forces and the locals have shared a cordial relationship. In this context, the Anini incident has the potential to cause disharmony between the army and the civilians. Especially as it involves land issues, the matter gets very complicated. Most of the land in the state is owned by local tribals and without their consent it is next to impossible to acquire them. Land acquisition has to be free and fair. The landowners have to be respected and duly paid for acquiring the land. The army authorities on their side should launch an investigation immediately to ascertain the truth. If the allegation is true, they should punish the officials involved in such criminal activities. No officials should be allowed to harm the excellent bonding shared between people of state and army. Also, an action against erring officials will send out a positive message to the people of state.