BRO and defence ministry should clear the air

The controversial move of the BRO to cover up Arunachal’s name with white paste in pictures of the inaugural ceremony of a new road project in Kimin recently has angered the people of the state. Adding insult to injury, the defence ministry tweeted that the programme was held in Assam, even though it was held inside Arunachal territory in Kimin.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, Arunachal CM Pema Khandu, MoS Kiren Rijiju and several top brass of the army attended the event. The decision of the BRO to cover up Arunachal’s name, followed by the defence ministry’s tweet that Kimin was in Assam territory is highly irresponsible.

The BRO, in particular the defence ministry, should apologize to the people of Arunachal Pradesh and also ensure that such blunder is not repeated in the future. Whatever may be the so-called ‘strategic reason’, the BRO should have avoided the act of disrespecting the sentiments of the entire state. What is worrying is that, even after the people of Arunachal, right from ordinary citizens to leaders of the ruling party, expressed displeasure over the move, the BRO is yet to make any statement. This shocking behaviour is an utter disrespect to the patriotic citizens of Arunachal. There is deep anger, and before the situation deteriorates, the defence ministry and the BRO should clear the air.